close
Tuesday June 25, 2024

Speakers emphasise active role of women in science to foster economic prosperity

ED Comsats delivered opening remarks, stressed importance of equal participation of women in addressing global challenges

By APP
February 13, 2024
This image shows the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South building in Islamabad. — Comsats website
This image shows the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South building in Islamabad. — Comsats website

Islamabad: Speaker at a webinar titled ‘Women in Science: Shaping Tomorrow’s Innovations’ held here Monday emphasised the active role of women in science, technology, and innovation to foster economic prosperity and sustainable development.

The webinar was arranged by the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (Comsats) to commemorate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The event, held in a hybrid format at the Comsats Secretariat in Islamabad, brought together a diverse panel of speakers to explore the pivotal role of women in Science, Technology, Innovation, and Engineering. Participants from around the globe joined the webinar.

Executive Director of Comsats, Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Nafees Zakaria delivered the opening remarks and stressed the importance of equal participation of women alongside men in addressing global challenges. Dr. Zakaria reiterated Comsats’ commitment to advocating for and promoting gender equality in the realm of science, technology, and innovation worldwide.

He highlighted the significance of this day as a call to action, acknowledging women’s invaluable contributions to science and the ongoing journey towards gender equality in the field. Dr. Zakaria emphasised that women bring a unique perspective to scientific endeavours, enhancing them with diversity in thought and experience, thereby contributing to a more comprehensive understanding of complex issues.

A distinguished member of the Senate of Pakistan and recently appointed CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar expressed appreciation to Comsats for organizing this significant event. In her video message, Dr. Sania underscored that achieving gender equality in science, technology, and innovation is not only a matter of social justice but also essential for fostering economic prosperity and sustainable development.

She highlighted the evolving nature of innovation, which now encompasses a broader range of influences beyond traditional science and technology advancements, particularly environmental and societal challenges. In this new paradigm, the socio-economic empowerment of women emerges as a crucial catalyst for driving innovation forward.

President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS), Prof. Dr. Quarraisha Abdool Karim shared valuable insights into her three decades of research contributions that have significantly influenced the global HIV prevention efforts. She highlighted that developing countries must maximize the potential of their Research and Innovation systems while promoting gender equality in scientific fields.

He said that integrating gender considerations into the Science, Technology, and Innovation landscape can provide developing countries with a significant competitive edge. Professor Dr. Rana Dajani from Hashemite University in Jordan emphasized the importance of nurturing an inclusive environment in academia and research.

She shared her experience of introducing a simple yet impactful model and activity ‘We Love Reading’ an inter-generational initiative, promoting healing, connection, and positive self-development through the joy of reading. Further, Dr. Dajani highlighted that a significant imbalance in women’s representation persists across various levels of the professional hierarchy, particularly in leadership roles.