The Sustainable Development goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015. They are an urgent call to action to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that by 2030 people enjoy peace and prosperity. The 17 SDGs are all connected in a way that action in one area will affect others.
We, at MINTy Education, work towards promoting the development of STEM and leadership skills, specially in women and girls. This relates directly to the SDGs in multiple ways. Here are some examples:
SDG 4 - Quality Education
This goal seeks to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning for all.
Globally we face a learning crisis that is leaving parts of the population, especially girls, without the skills and critical knowledge to take part in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Moreover, by 2030, some 880 million children will not be able to develop the skills they need to succeed in the workforce (UNICEF, 2020).
For girls and women, this crisis includes difficulty accessing quality learning opportunities in STEM fields, which are traditionally male dominated.
Nurturing and promoting girls’ interest and aspirations for STEM careers addresses this directly.
SDG 5 - Gender Equality
STEM education can enlarge girl’s and women’s lives and work-related opportunities by strengthening their technological knowledge and skills, particularly of information and communication technologies (SDG 5.B)
It also provides girls and women with the knowledge to enhance their decision-making over their sexual and reproductive rights and health (SDG 5.6).
SDG 1 - No Poverty / SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
STEM education provides the tools for their path towards employment in order to improve their livelihoods, while contributing to poverty reduction.
SDG 9 - Industry, innovation and infrastructure
This type of education can boost the participation of women in technological developments and innovative solutions for different types of industries.
SDG 6 - Clean water and sanitation / SDG 13 - Climate action / SDG 14 - Life below water / SDG 15 - Life on land
STEM education also enhances their engagement and possibilities to lead initiatives to protect the environment and to develop greener and more sustainable societies.
As a whole we can see how strengthening girl’s and women’s involvement in STEM and leadership can be an accelerator for the 2030 Development Agenda. To do this we need the involvement of communities, the private sector and governments.
Sources: United Nations Children’s Fund, ITU, Towards an equal future: Reimagining girls’ education through STEM, New York, 2020. UNESCO. (2015, March 10). Strengthening girls' involvement in STEM – an accelerator of sustainable development. UNESCO.org. Retrieved June 8, 2022, from https://www.unesco.org/en/articles/strengthening-girls-involvement-stem-accelerator-sustainable-development