Updated: Oct 8, 2020
More girls are in school today than ever before, but they do not always have the same opportunities as boys to complete and benefit from an education of their choice. Too many girls and women are held back by biases, social norms and expectations influencing the quality of the education they receive and the subjects they study. They are particularly under-represented in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, and consequently in STEM careers.
According to the UNESCO groundbreaking report Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in STEM, only 35% of STEM students in higher education globally are women, and differences are observed within STEM disciplines. For example, only 3% of female students in higher education choose information and communication technologies (ICT) studies. This gender disparity is alarming, especially as STEM careers are often referred to as the jobs of the future, driving innovation, social wellbeing, inclusive growth and sustainable development.