OWSD Conference: Mrs. Priscilla Chidinma Otti Advocates for Girls in STEM

OWSD Conference: Mrs. Priscilla Chidinma Otti Advocates for Girls in STEM

OWSD Conference: Mrs. Priscilla Chidinma Otti Advocates for Girls in STEM

The South East zone of the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) has commenced its 4th Biennial Conference at Abia State University, Uturu. The event, themed “Women in Science: Changing the Narratives through Innovation and Technology,” aims to highlight and promote the contributions of women in science.

Mrs. Priscilla Chidinma Otti, the First Lady of Abia State, lauded OWSD’s efforts to encourage young girls to pursue science-related subjects. She emphasized the importance of celebrating women’s contributions to technology and innovation in a field traditionally dominated by men.

Represented by Mrs. Ngozi Felix, the Commissioner for Women Affairs and Poverty Alleviation, Mrs. Otti urged OWSD to develop effective strategies that could be adopted by governments and educational institutions in the Southeast to promote STEM education for girls. These strategies could include offering grants, scholarships, and mentoring programs.

“While I will continue to advocate for girls to take up STEM subjects, the government remains committed to enhancing the education sector to better train our future leaders,” Mrs. Otti stated. “We are actively renovating and repairing schools to ensure they are well-equipped and conducive to learning. Additionally, we are motivating our teachers by ensuring regular salaries and continuously reviewing regulations to enhance school effectiveness. By addressing these issues, we are giving more children, especially girls, the opportunity to receive an education and build a brighter future.”

Professor Onyemachi Ogbulu, Vice Chancellor of Abia State University Uturu, noted that the conference aims to redefine the role of women in science in the digital age. He commended Mrs. Otti for her advocacy and support for women in science within the Southeast and across the country.

Professor Olayinka Nwachukwu, National Chairperson of OWSD, explained that the organization, with over 30 branches nationwide, facilitates research collaborations among women scientists, enhances career mobility through networking and information sharing, and engages with government and communities to promote girls’ education.

 

The Southeast coordinator of OWSD, Professor Uchenna Estella Odoh, highlighted the significant contributions of women to science throughout history, despite facing formidable obstacles and systemic barriers. She called on the government to address structural and cultural barriers that hinder women’s advancement in science, such as gender bias, discrimination, and unequal access to career opportunities and leadership roles.

The conference also recognized individuals who have made significant contributions to leadership, academics, and the advancement of women’s causes.

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