Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the Asia Pacific


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Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the Asia Pacific

March 6, 2024

This research explores the trends and patterns currently unfolding in the region by providing a qualitative analysis of emerging issues facing women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), as well as potential solutions. Despite technological advancement in various disciplines in STEM, disparities still persist in certain disciplines, including maths, physics, engineering and computer science, where women continue to be underrepresented. Representation of women in STEM remains low across the Asia Pacific Region, comprising around 23.9 percent of researchers, lower than the global average of 29.3 percent. Throughout their childhood, education, and careers, women and girls in STEM face unique challenges. Women’s representation in STEM sectors experiences a significant decline during the transition from university to the workforce. Skills in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) are now vital for tackling critical and urgent sustainable development problems, as diverse as the climate crisis and disaster risk reduction, health and education disparities, economic and food security, cyber security and even gender-based violence. Failing to promote the equal participation of women and girls in STEM has far-reaching social, ethical, and economic implications. This study was initiated by the UNDP Bangkok Regional Hub, Gender Team in collaboration with UNDP China. UNDP teams in Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives and Thailand have also been part of this research effort, to map the challenges and advancements made by the countries in the participation of women and girls in STEM field.