Championing Her Future: three scientists show girls what is possible in science and technology
On 11 October 2022, Day of the Girl, UNICEF and the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) launched a series of videos titled ‘Championing Her Future’
BEIJING, 12 October 2022 — Girls, as well as boys, have a right to realize their potential. Science and innovation are vital to solving current and future challenges.
Yet, in China some children are falling behind due to limited access to high quality learning and skills development opportunities. A study by UNICEF China shows that a lack of confidence and self-esteem holds rural children back – girls especially. Some of the 91.6 million rural girls do learn science at school. But, like many other girls globally, few go on to study at higher levels. Even fewer pursue careers and become leaders in these fields, according to a global UNICEF report.
When society does not encourage girls to excel in science, when stereotypes tell girls that they are not suited to these fields, when job opportunities and careers paths are unclear, not only do we limit girls’ chances to realize their potential; we all miss out.
It’s time this changed. That’s why UNICEF is inspiring and empowering girls, including rural girls, to seize their right to education, particularly in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics skills.
UNICEF is working with government partners to develop learning resources, build the capacity of teachers, and inspire through role models the millions of girl students in rural and urban areas and empower them to develop their competencies in science and beyond.
On 11 October 2022, Day of the Girl, UNICEF and the China Association for Science and Technology (CAST) launched a series of videos titled ‘Championing Her Future’ where three experts take us on a tour of their pathways to becoming changemakers.
UNICEF is also making clear that there are women leaders; we just don’t hear about them enough, and neither do girls. Who better to show the way than these trailblazing women who lead in their fields?
Shuai Mei, a robotic engineer, said: “When I was a little girl, I thought that I must leave something to the world. I thought I could do anything if I put my mind to it. Engineering is a core ability to make great inventions for the future, and I help families and make society better.”
“Science is like an adventure… a super mysterious treasure, but you'll eventually find it and have lots and lots of fun on the way,” said Marie-Luce Chevalier, a seismologist.
Zhou Siyi, a postdoctoral fellow in theoretical physics, said: “Now we know more than scientists in the past, and there are more secrets from the stars waiting to be discovered. The next great scientist could be you.”
And they are showing how girls can choose their own path. Watch as these role models share with girls, and boys, the endless possibilities of pursuing studies and careers in science and technology. Join us in championing girls’ futures – not just on the Day of the Girl, but every day!
* While the three scientists are experts in their fields, the girls portrayed in the videos above are child actors and are not participants of UNICEF – CAST programmes.
** CAST also published a series of three long-form videos, as part of the partnership, highlighting Han Xiqiu (oceanographer), Lyu Zhi (nature conservationist) and Lu Jing (paleontologist) to recognize their journeys in science and technology, and to ensure the sector becomes more welcoming of women to learn and succeed.