Speakers for women’s active role in science to foster economic prosperity

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ISLAMABAD   -  Speaker at a webinar titled “Women in Science: Shaping Tomorrow’s Innovations” held here Monday emphasized 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 emphasized that women bring a unique perspec­tive to scientific endeavors, 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.

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