At the initiative of the Wife of the President, Elizabeta Gjorgievska, on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls Scientists, a thematic debate was held today on the “Professional and Personal Challenges Faced by Women Scientists in the Republic of North Macedonia”.
Addressing the audience, the President’s Wife said that the celebration of this day was an opportunity to raise public awareness of the need to increase the number of women and girls scientists. “By providing equal opportunities for education to girls, we encourage them not to leave the educational process and be part of science in the future”, Gjorgievska said, adding that we should all work together to overcome barriers for girls and women in science.
“More women in science is an important topic for Agenda 2030. By 2030, countries around the world need to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation. This goal cannot be achieved without equal opportunities for women scientists and researchers. Unequal access of women and girls to STEM areas is a brake on sustainable development. With their contribution, women scientists can accelerate the pace and help make up for lost time in achieving sustainable development”, Gjorgievska said.
Speaking that the number of women scientists in certain academic disciplines in the country is at a higher level than many other countries, Gjorgievska said that for better results, long-term engagement is needed by investing in an education system that will offer equal opportunities for all. We need to encourage girls to be part of science, she said, adding that as a society we need to provide mechanisms to support women to become part of more scientific research.
“I believe that with the commitment of the state, the academic community and the business community, we can succeed. We should encourage platforms, programs and incubators for women and girls researchers in STEM areas. Let us strive for a society and education system that will encourage girls to study in STEM areas, and at the same time give their best to be a positive example not only for themselves but also for future generations. May we be a catalyst for change for a better society for each of us”, President’s Wife Gjorgievska said.
Discussing the challenges of institutional nature, Elisabeta Bajrami Ologu, lecturer and head of the Department of Social Work and Social Policy at the Mother Teresa University in Skopje, stressed the need for research centers, as well as greater financial support for doctoral students in the field of research.
Prof. Dr. Jasmina Petreska Stanoeva, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, speaking about the gender dimension in science, said that girls should be encouraged to research from an early age. According to her, the culture of mentorship should be raised to a much higher level and as mentors of young girls in academia must be open about the challenges faced by women in science.
The hybrid event was attended by scientists who discussed a variety of topics addressing the personal and professional challenges they face, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in their daily work, as well as the involvement of scientists in higher education and scientific work.
Topic of this year’s United Nations virtual event marking the 6th International Women and Girls Day is “Beyond Borders: Equality in Science for Society”, with a special focus on the value of social aspects and cultural dimensions in science, technology and innovation to improve sustainable development programs.