UNDP Report Reveals Key Insights on Empowering Girls and Women in STEM in Uzbekistan

November 29, 2023
Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

In a significant step towards understanding and addressing the gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s Accelerator Lab in Uzbekistan presents the findings of its research prepared as part of Gender Mainstreaming initiative.

The report is prepared based on the study's findings conducted in Tashkent city, Fergana, Andijan, and Surkhandarya regions, which focuses on identifying factors that positively influence the choice of girls and women in STEM education and professions.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

The report identifies significant factors shaping the trajectory of women in STEM:

  • High levels of STEM identity and involvement are prevalent among girls and women, irrespective of parental education. Interestingly, the technical education of siblings emerges as an influential factor in guiding career choices within STEM fields.

  • Motivations for choosing STEM professions peak in adolescence and early adulthood. Factors such as self-realization, self-development, growth opportunities, and societal regard for STEM play crucial roles in influencing career choices.

  • Psychological characteristics and robust social support emerge as a cornerstone for confident decision-making in STEM.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

Based on these findings, the report proposes a set of recommendations to foster an environment conducive to women's success in STEM, including establishing policies supporting women's STEM education to bridge existing gaps, facilitating opportunities for STEM internships abroad to broaden perspectives and experiences for women students; promoting the creation of STEM-focused TV shows and TED Talk platforms featuring successful women in STEM to inspire future generations, as well as upscaling successful practices of INHA University and Turin Polytechnic University to empower women in STEM further.

The full report can be downloaded here.

The presentation of the report took place at the INHA University in Tashkent. Consuelo Vidal Bruce, UN Resident Coordinator a.i. in Uzbekistan; Ram Iyer, UNDP Resident Representative a.i. in Uzbekistan; Kamola Sabirova, advisor to the Minister of Digital Technologies, Shakhlo Turdikulova, Deputy Minister of Higher Education Science and Innovation, and the host – Muzaffar Djalalov, rector of INHA University in Tashkent joined the event with opening remarks and motivating speeches.

Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan

In his opening remarks, Ram Iyer, UNDP Resident Representative a.i., noted, 

“By nurturing a girl of a young age's interest in STEM, we are paving her way to success in the future. From building a solid foundation in problem-solving to building confidence to opening doors to exciting career opportunities, more women in STEM are offered many benefits that can transform a girl's life.”

The event called for investing in STEM education and professions for girls and women as a reiteration of the critical message of 16 days of activism against gender-based violence that this year called for investing in preventing violence against women and girls.