In celebration of the International Day of Women 2023, theme I.D.E.A.S – Innovate, demonstrate, elevate, advance, and sustain IITA-CGIAR organized virtual and physical events on 13 February 2023 to celebrate and encourage the girl child aspiring for a career in science.
This 2023 theme, adopted to break existing stereotypes and broaden girls’ imagination on how they can contribute to sustainable development goals, follows the persistent gender gap at all levels of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, STEM disciplines worldwide.
While anchoring the event, Lade Oke, Human Resources Manager, says having more women in science is essential to achieve gender equality.
Hilde Koper-Limbourg, Deputy Director General Corporate Service, in her opening remarks, says the low representation of women in leadership positions is due to the perception held by society and therefore encourages the girls to take an interest in subjects that will enable them to have a successful career in science.
Olufisayo Kolade, IITA Yam Disease phenotyping specialist, during her presentation, however, highlighted the lack of support from families, peers, teachers, and cultural and religious beliefs as barriers to women reaching their full potential in science. “Women account for less than 30% of the world’s population of scientists and researchers, and to overcome the barriers, girls ought to believe in themselves, be self-motivated and be ready to demystify the seemingly difficult subject,” she said.
The event had virtual participants from various locations outside IITA, including Tanzania (EAH), Bukavu and Cameroon (CAH), Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia (SAH), simultaneously. Also in attendance physically were students from; American Christian Academy, Deeper Life High School, Fashola Grammar School, and Apostolic Faith Secondary School, among others.
Also in attendance were students from; American Christian Academy, IITA International School,
Deeper Life High School, Fashola Grammar School, Ibadan International School, and Apostolic Faith Secondary School, among others.
Contributed by Victoria Adabale