Education / Professional training - - International

Cracking the code: Girls'and women's education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)

18.12.2017 / Created by (EMWF)

Despite large efforts made over the past decades to narrow the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, major inequalities still persist. Socio-economic, cultural and other obstacles still prevent female learners from completing or benefiting fully from good quality education of their choice in many situations. UNESCO’s new publication, cracking the code: girls’ and women’s education in STEM, deciphers the factors that hinder and facilitate girls’ and women’s participation in STEM education. It provides an in-depth look at the challenges, learning achievements and progression.  Here are some highlights from the report:

What is the overall status of girls in STEM education?

The gender disparity in STEM education is striking. In higher education, only 35% of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields are female. Today, only 28% of all of the world’s researchers are women. Gender stereotypes and biased attitudes compromise the quality of the learning experience for female students and limit their education choices.

The report tends to answer four main questions:

  • What is the overall status of girls in STEM education?
  • What are the barriers?
  • What is the role of socialization in these trends, and to what extent do girls and women internalize negative stereotypes?
  • How can we help girls and women understand that gender stereotypes are artificial constructs and that studies and careers in STEM are open to them?

The new report is a resource for education stakeholders and others working to promote gender equality. 


  • Type of publication : Study / Report
  • Author : United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Publishing house : United National Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • Publication date : 2017
  • Number of pages : 83
  • Language : English and French


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Fondation Zakoura
Association of Women in Green Economy (AFEV)
Women's Network for Mentoring / Networking (RFMN)
Association Voix d'Ève (AVE)
Istar Montull Mussach
Nansen Dialogue Montenegro
Association Marocaine des Femmes Progressistes (AMFP)
Association of Continuity of Generations - ACG
Sana Hafsa Consulting Office
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Bremen University
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Association Neama for Development
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