Young Female Scientist Programme by Okayama University and the UNCTAD were showcased at the UN Headquarters

The “Joint Research and Training Course for Young Female Scientists from Developing Countries (short-term program)” of Okayama University and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) was chosen by the United Nations as one of the representative examples for “SHE in STI – Addressing the gender gap in Science, Technology and Innovation: Selected initiatives from UN system entities –” a global initiative on the gender gap in the fields of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) at the “8th Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for SDGs (STI Forum)” of the UN The chosen initiatives, including this example, were published in a report and displayed as the “Women in STI” Exhibit at the UN Headquarters building on May 3 and 4, to coincide with the term of the forum.

This report, compiled by the UN Interagency Task Team (IATT) on STI for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), introduces the initiatives of 14 IATT members in UN agencies including UNCTAD to accelerate the empowerment of women and their active participation in the STI fields through a diverse range of approaches, and was prepared in the hope of providing inspiration to all stakeholders across the world.

In January 2020, Okayama University and UNCTAD concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for comprehensive cooperation on developing human resources concerning science and technology innovation for SDGs (STI for SDGs). The “Joint Research and Training Course for Young Female Scientists from Developing Countries (short-term program)” and the “Doctoral Degree Program for Young Scientists from Developing Countries (long-term program),” accepted 21 young female scientists and three students, respectively, to advance to the doctoral course. Based on these achievements, Dr. Shamika Sirimanne, Director of Technology and Logistics at UNCTAD, came to Japan on January 31, 2023, and gave a special lecture to faculty, staff members and people from the local community at Okayama University. Furthermore, on March 29, Okayama University’s Vice President for Global Engagement and UNESCO Chairholder, YOKOI Atsufumi, presented this program to the Member States at the Main Session of the Annual Meeting of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). As such, the cooperative relationships have been deepened and further developed.

Taking this project as an opportunity, Okayama University will reinforce the partnership with UNCTAD, the UN’s central organization that implements and operates STI for SDGs, leading initiatives for the development of human resources in STI for SDGs from Okayama to the world while taking into account improvements in the gender gap in developing countries and communicating such initiatives in Japan and overseas.

○United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
Founded in 1964, UNCTAD, located in Geneva, is a core organization of the UN. It comprehensively addresses issues relevant to trade and development, finance, investment, technology, and sustainable development, aiming to maximize the opportunities for trade, investment and the development of countries, to support developing countries that are facing problems arising from globalization, and to integrate them into the global economy on an equal footing.

(Related websites)
News on UNCTAD programs for young female researchers
News on the special lecture of the Director of Technology and Logistics at UNCTAD
News on the presentation of Vice President Yokoi Atsufumi at the Annual Meeting of the UN CSTD

Webpage for the joint programs between Okayama University and UNCTAD