Girls and women lag behind in science and technology fields: ILO

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A solar engineering trainer at India’s Barefoot College

Science and technology are advancing at a rapid pace, offering new opportunities in the workplace.  However, women are in danger of being left behind.

That's according to a new report by the International Labor Organization (ILO).

Claude Akpokavie of the ILO's Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV), has written a manual evaluating progress made in achieving the Millennium Development Goals, which include promoting gender equality and empowering women.

He says "Women tend to be overrepresented in the humanities and social sciences, and underrepresented in science and technology."

He's calling for "Measures … to be put in place to redress this imbalance".

And, the Director of the ILO's Bureau for Gender Equality, Jane Hodges, explains that the gap between men and women in this field is linked to pervasive gender roles and attitudes in different societies, which, she says, encourage girls to follow “softer” subjects.

She says this is apparent in both the developed and developing world, noting that "Girls are far less likely than boys to study engineering or computer or physical sciences."

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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