Tirana, 9 November 2012 - On the World Science Day for Peace and Development, Albanian women scientists shared how their professional achievements and educational experiences in the various fields of science have affected their lives and careers.
The UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe, Venice (Italy) in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Albania, marked the Day by focusing attention on the important role of Albanian women in science, at a round table open to the public entitled “Women in Science and non-traditional settings” which took place in Tirana, Albania.
The round table brought together important Albanian women scientists, representatives of several line ministries, and international guests, among them Vita Majce, 2012 L`Oreal-UNESCO International Fellow ‘’For Women in Science”, Slovenia.
Mr. Ardian Tane, Deputy Minister of Education stated that there are around 500 women with a scientific degree in Albania. The Chairman of the Academy of Science of Albania, Prof. Gudar Beqiraj, confirmed that there are two women academicians who are among the most active members of the Academy of Science of Albania. Although there are encouraging signs, said Mrs. Rosanna Santesso, UNESCO Program specialist, women are still under-represented in science whether in basic scientific research or at higher decision-making levels. Science cannot continue to deprive itself of the full scientific potential of over half the world’s population. Science is a key to knowledge; for women to gain access to knowledge and achieve gender equality, they must have access to science. The UN Women Representative, Mrs. Semia De Guermas Tapia elaborated on the need to bring science closer to the beneficiaries. The activities pursuant to this meeting, said Mrs. Zhulieta Harasani, UNESCO NPO in Tirana, will intent to promote the women scientists as “science spokespersons” and career mentors to encourage the future generations of Albanian women to continue their studies in science, as a potential to upgrade their intellectual capacity, social contribution and their opportunities for gender equality..
The round table in Tirana, was an opportunity not only to promote the theme of this years edition of the World Science Day through gender equality - a global priority for UNESCO – but it also pointed out the need for a better organization of women scientists. Indeed, many of the participants called for a functional, intellectual and scientific network to empower women scientists and vocalize their contribution in various decision-making processes in various life sectors. The representatives of UNESCO and the Ministry of Education and Science reiterated their support to these initiatives.
Since its establishment by UNESCO in 2001, the World Science Day for Peace and Development is celebrated worldwide on 10 November each year. The Day is an occasion to recall UNESCO`s mandate and commitment to science. This year`s theme, “Science for global sustainability: interconnectedness, collaboration, transformation”, shines a light on our increasingly interconnected and interdependent economic, social, cultural and political systems, both in terms of the pressure these place on the Earth system and of the potential for solutions that they provide.