Together with IILA, ICGEB launches the second phase of the project promoting gender equality in STEM in Central America: stimulating scientific curiosity in girls and young women, through Foldscope workshops across seven SICA countries to take place during 2023.
In November 2021, ICGEB took part in the Motivational Forum “Women in Science,” a virtual event organised by IILA (the International Italo-Latin American Organization), with whom ICGEB works to support the training of young Latin American researchers, in collaboration with SICA (Central American Integration System), with almost 300 people in attendance.
The Forum is part of the MAECI-funded Cooperation Project “STEM Promotion and Reducing the Digital Gap in Central America from a Gender Perspective,” a project that adds to a previous initiative to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
During the meeting, 600 folding microscopes (foldscopes), donated by the ICGEB were officially presented to the students of the Miguel Canela Lazaro High School in the Dominican Republic. The event also aimed to encourage the pursuit of careers in science by stimulating interest in science and new technologies.
With ICGEB Director-General Lawrence Banks, and IILA Secretary General, Antonella Cavallari participating from IILA Headquarters in Rome, the “foldscopes” were formally delivered by the Ambassador of Italy to the Dominican Republic, Stefano Queirolo, who participated via remote. Animating the motivational part of the ceremony, Dr. Carmenza Spadafora, coordinator of INDICASAT – AIP Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology of Diseases in Panama, described her personal and professional journey, her scientific achievements, and offered interesting stimuli to the large number of young people who were connected to understand how science can affect everyone’s life and how rewarding it is to be able to devote oneself to it.
According to data provided by UNESCO, only 35 percent of science students are women and only 3 percent of female high school students choose studies related to information and communication technologies (ITC). This is alarming data, especially considering that STEM careers, which are crucial to promote innovation, social welfare and sustainable development, considered key in the jobs of the future.
ICGEB is proud to work with IILA in the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 to help close the gender gap in the study of science disciplines in Latin American countries.
Read more about our initiatives for Women in Science.
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