“Local STEMspresso – Promoting Women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to Youth from Youth”

Showcasing Creative and Multimedia Competences of Albanian Youth – Final Event Tirana in hybrid format on 31 May 2022. 

At #TullaCenter, during the final event of our “Local STEMspresso: Promoting Women in STEM to Youth from Youth”, we showcased the creative and multimedia competencies of our group of young people and reflected on how promoting girls and women in STEM contributes to their social and economic empowerment and thus a more equal society where girls and women have all the opportunities to reach their potential and aspirations free from prejudices, discrimination and also free from violence. Participants attended also the first screening of #videos and #podcasts produced by our young men and women participating in the #STEMtalk, #Bootcamps, and #mentoring program.

It’s time to celebrate women in #STEM, engage in policy formulation & advocacy for more women in leading positions in academia & industry as digital transition accelerated by #Covid has brought #STEM & #digitalskills to the forefront of our development agenda” – highlighted Ms. Monica Merino, UNDP in Albania Resident Representative.

Evidence is clear. Participation of women in #STEM increases #innovation, #competitiveness and #growth. It is good for business. It is good for all. We believe in #genderequality in everything we do & in every intervention, we implement. We need to think about how to increase women’s representation in #STEM” – underlined Ms. Petra Burcher, Head of Development Cooperation at @Embassy of Sweden in Albania

We are very grateful for the support of UNDP Albania for this pilot project aiming to increase awareness of youngsters on the importance and role of women in STEM, as well as to expand their understanding of the relevance of STEM education in today’s fast-changing world. Empowering women and girls and increasing their advocacy role in pushing forward the gender equality agenda is another objective of this pilot project thus contributing to reinforcing and multiple the messages of an equal society free of violence.” – stressed Blerjana Bino, SCiDEV Executive Director, pointing out at the mission of our Network of Albanian Women in STEM is to contribute to the social and economic empowerment of women by increasing their representation in STEM and encouraging and supporting girls and women to have a career in STEM both in academia and industry.

The Centre Science and Innovation for Development (SCiDEV) in the framework of its flag initiative – The Network of Albanian Women in STEM (NAWSTEM) – has implemented (March – June 2022) a pilot project aiming to increase awareness of youngsters on the importance and role of women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), as well as to expand their understanding of the relevance of STEM education in today’s fast-changing world. SCiDEV has collaborated with local partners to implement activities: Gruaja tek Gruaja, Sot per te Ardhmen, and Une Gruaja. We have been working with young people in Shkodra, Durrës, and Pogradec and our key activities have been:

3 successful women in STEM (Teuta Xhindi, Anila Paparisto and Sidorela Uku) held on April 3 STEMtalks with about 80 young women and men in Shkodra, Durrës, and Pogradec. This was an open conversation about the role of women in society, industry, and even family and why a career in STEM, usually considered as the strong sciences belonging to men, is so important for their economic empowerment (jobs in STEM are the highest paid and plus offer more secure employment or income generation opportunities in todays’ word), but also for their social empowerment. These open conversations engaged young people to challenge their perceptions and understand more why STEM is particularly important for gender equality. We think that it is crucial to engage with young people to discuss such matters, understand their point of view, challenge them, inform, and raise awareness so they can become multipliers of key messages in society and promoters of gender equality, women’s rights and equal society free of violence.

Then we organized 3 Bootcamps with 36 young women and men in April and May 2022 in Shkodra, Durrës, and Pogradec, training youth on storytelling techniques, creative writing, multimedia, production, editing, and promotion in the digital space. So basically, how to tap on the multimedia and creative competencies of young people and how they can be put to practice for a good cause: increasing the visibility of local women in STEM. This gave them the opportunity to explore the stories of these women and appreciate more the struggle towards equality.

2 mentors (Valbona Sulçe and Lorin Kadiu) have been working with these young women and men, enabling them to create multimedia products to promote the profile of distinguished women in STEM and raise awareness of the relevance and importance of STEM education and career for the social and economic empowerment of women.

9 teams have been researching the profiles of 9 women in STEM in their local communities and have prepared 6 podcasts and 3 videos:

This project is implemented by #SCiDEV with the support of #UNDPinAlbania, in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection, as part of the UN Joint Programme “Ending Violence against Women in Albania”, funded by the Government of Sweden.

Full video of the Final Event