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Factsheet: Strengthening STEM curricula for girls in Africa and Asia



Acquiring knowledge about science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is not only a basic human right, but also a critical condition for sustainable development and participatory citizenship. Women’s engagement with science and technology not only stimulates innovation, but also benefits their domestic and community work —agriculture, cooking, water, sanitation and healthcare—.

However, across the world, statistics show relatively low levels of female participation in STEM throughout schooling and employment. In Africa, Asia and the Pacific, women comprise only 33% and 18% of researchers, respectively.

In this area, the success of Malaysia is salient: in the country, women constitute more than half of the student population in higher education for technology, and high percentages of the professional ICTs sector. As the UNESCO’s global Centre of Excellence in Curriculum, the International Bureau of Education (IBE) will collaborate with Malaysian expertise to strengthen STEM curricula, teacher education and assessment for girls and women in Indonesia, Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.