First Vice President: "Many Azerbaijani women have made great contributions to science"
- 11 February 2021
"I am very proud to come from the country well-known to the world not only for the drilling of the world’s first industrial oil well, opening the first opera in the Orient or, more importantly, establishing the first democratic republic in the Muslim world more than one century ago. Azerbaijan has also entered history as one of the first nations in the world to provide women with the right to vote and to be elected back in 1918. As to girls education, the first secular school for girls in the Muslim East was opened by Azerbaijani philanthropist Zeynalabdin Taghiyev in my native town of Baku back in 1901," First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva said in her speech at the event held in a video format on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science as part of the “Year of Women” declared by ICESCO, APA reports.
"Today, the literacy rate in Azerbaijan is close to 100 percent. 54 percent of students in master course, 51 percent of PhDs at higher educational institutions, 46 percent of Doctor of science degree holders and 56 percent of researchers in our country are women. Women represent 59 percent of the overall staff of the Azerbaijani National Academy of Science.
At the same time, in our rapidly changing world, it is important that the education of girls and their participation in science should be adequate to new challenges. Globally, girls make up only 35 percent of all students who study in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics subjects. In our country, this number is 40%, higher than the world’s average.
As I mentioned before, many Azerbaijani women have made great contributions to science and have been the source of true inspiration for girls and young females to be engaged in science. But what is important today is to create more favorable conditions for our girls and young women to continue to improve their levels of involvement and to keep filling the gender gap in science. As one example, I can mention a pilot project we recently started with UNDP called “Women in STEM” mentorship program that links young female professionals and students with STEM role models so that they receive the advice they need to address the challenges faced in their education and careers," noted Mehriban Aliyeva.