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Female scientists plays key role in nation’s sustainable development

Update: October, 19/2018 - 11:00
Participants at the eighth meeting of the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists 2018 Asia and Pacific Nations Network take a group photo. — Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — Scientists, especially women, are playing an important role in the sustainable development of each country, the region and the entire world, said Nguyễn Thị Thu Hà, chairwoman of Việt Nam Women’s Union.

She was speaking on Thursday at the eighth meeting of the International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists 2018 Asia and Pacific Nations Network (INWES-APNN) which is underway in Hà Nội.

“The Fourth Industrial Revolution will create many opportunities for nations but also poses many challenges that directly affect the goal of sustainable development,” she said.

Hà said that over the past decades Việt Nam had been committed to sustainable development, identifying science and technology as the nation’s top policy and developing policies for promoting gender equality and the growth of female scientists.

The number of female scientists and intellectuals has gradually increased. The proportion of masters’ degree earners who are women in 2014 was 43 per cent, of PhD earners was 21 per cent, and of professors and associate professors was 24.6 per cent for the 2012-16 period, she said.

Many women have conducted outstanding scientific research, laying the foundation for policy making and practical applications, contributing to improving people’s lives.

Trần Văn Tùng, deputy minister of Science and Technology, agreed, saying that the contributions of women in general and female scientists were extremely significant.

He cited the fact that the percentage of Vietnamese scientists who are women increased from 41.6 per cent in 2011 to 44.9 per cent in 2015.

Việt Nam has many outstanding female scientists including Nguyễn Thi Hòe, Chairman of the KOVA paint group, who has researched waterproof paints and Nano paint from rice husk, and led the firm to become a big enterprise with factories in Singapore, Malaysia and Cambodia.

Because women are one of the most vulnerable groups in the fourth industrial revolution, he said, female scientists are exemplars encouraging girls to pay more attention to the science-technology-engineering-mathematics (STEM) field.

Associate professor Phạm Thị Thùy, who once worked for Việt Nam Institute of Agricultural Science, said the meeting gave female scientists the chance to discuss and exchange ideas with other peers, adding that this is the fourth time she attended the meeting.

With her contribution to the application of biology products in plant protection in 2009, Thùy received the Việt Nam Kovalevskaia Prize – an honour given to outstanding female scientists.

“The conference is a good opportunity for me to engage with people in science and technology field in the community,” Udari Rathnathunga, a representative from Sri Lanka told Việt Nam News.

She also hoped that she could find partners to collaborate for her research on the flowering time photoperiod and temperature variation in Sri Lanka rice through the conference.

During the two-day meeting, participants are expected to take part in discussions on gender and gender equality in science and technology, food safety and nutrition, and natural disaster risk management and climate change adaptation.

The Hà Nội Declaration is expected to be adopted at the end of the meeting. It demonstrates the commitment of APNN members towards strengthening cooperation as well as sharing experience between female scientists and engineers in the region to further contribute to the growth of the region and the world, helping realise the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.

Themed “Women scientists for Sustainable Development in the Digital Age”, the 8th annual meeting of the APNN is jointly held by the Việt Nam Women’s Union and the Việt Nam Association for Intellectual Women. It attracted the participation of 200 female scientists from 13 countries and territories including Australia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia and Việt Nam. — VNS

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