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Ann Mwende

Ann Mwende


Boosting the number of women and girls entering careers involving science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM) is vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, UN chief António Guterres said in a message to mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science..

Each year in February, the United Nations marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. It’s a chance to reflect on how the situation has improved for women working in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematic (STEM), and how much remains to be done. The day of February11th was established in 2015 is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technological communities and that their participation should be strengthened.

Recent studies show that, while more girls are attending school than before, they are under-represented in STEM subjects and they appear to lose interest as they reach adolescence. Women are mostly under-represented in STEM careers despite the high number of females graduating from university in the fields.  For example, in Kenya, slightly more than 35% of the 6,664 doctors and dentists registered with the Kenya Medical Practitioners and dentists board by 2018 are women. Figures from UNESCO indicate that the representation of women researchers is also low in other science fields in Kenya. The exclusion of women from STEM is not unique to Kenya but common around the world.

Women and girls’ voices and expertise in science, technology and innovation are vital to bring solutions to disruptive change in our rapidly evolving world. We urgently need to close the gender gap in STEM fields and promote gender equality in the respective careers.

In the recent months we have seen young women and girls around the world being vocal in calling for action to combat climate change. When 16-year-old Swede Greta Thunberg charged World Economic Forum attendees in Switzerland to ‘act as if our house is on fire’, she was voicing sentiments similar to many of her age.

When women have the educational and leadership opportunities to pursue careers in STEM, they have influenced the development of policies, programs, and inventions that have changed our world. We cannot afford to leave the talent and contributions of half the world’s population on the table. Advancing women’s participation in STEM to ensure a new generation of female scientists follows in the footsteps of these pioneers is a national security and moral imperative.

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The question on the link between climate change and conflicts in the Horn of Africa has constantly come up as a factor in conflict and climate change dynamics at the regional and international levels. In order to address this matter, FES and PACJA have begun to engage stakeholders in the Horn of Africa to unpack the complexity of conflict and its relationship with climate change – how conflicts transcend borders and generally how the two issues can be weaved together.

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Photo credits,Adidas.

Recently adidas signed the climate protection charter for fashion industry at the UN climate change conference. They committed to becoming carbon-neutral by 2050 with an interim target of a 30% reduction in its overall carbon footprint by 2030.In addition, adidas is committed to using only recycled polyester in every product and on every application were a solution exists by 2014.

New figures reveal we are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which are disposables.

The Ultra boost running shoes are in partnership with marine conservation parley for oceans and contain around 5% 500ml bottles of recycled plastic bottles. The plastic used to manufacture the shoes is sourced from parley for oceans which are based in the Maldives and along 1,000 coral islands off the western coast of India. The waste is made into a yarn becoming a key component of the upper material of adidas footwear. 

The upcycling is the newest sustainability trend with the retail industry. This is the reusing of discarded objects or materials to create a product of higher quality with the use new technology innovations, recycling plastics is becoming more efficient and popularly used in consumer products. Many retailers are jumping on the sustainability trend and creating different ways to recycle old goods. By 2020, Adidas wants all of their shoes to be made using recycled plastic, which is good for the health of the planet, but it's good to know that their first foray into sustainability has been a success.




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