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DOHA: Qatar University (QU) organised the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2024 activities under the theme 'Transition towards Innovation Economy: The Role of Women Entrepreneurs in STEM', in partnership with the UNESCO Office for the Gulf States and Yemen, Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science and Sasol.

The event included a panel discussion led by prominent women scientists and researchers as well as other stakeholders who discussed the breaking barriers in STEM entrepreneurship, navigating the innovation landscape from global to national and regional trends, and building an enabling ecosystem.

Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies Professor Mariam Al Maadeed in her opening speech said, "Qatar University celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science every year. This celebration is an opportunity to showcase the inspiring achievements of women and girls and to enhance their participation in national and regional development, keeping pace with the rapid global transformation towards a knowledge-based economy focused on research and innovation."

She added, "Qatar University has incorporated a culture of research and innovation into its strategic plans and in the practices of its students and researchers. The university has accomplished numerous activities, initiatives, and theoretical and practical programs that have bridged cooperation, exchanged expertise, and contributed to transforming modern technology and scientific innovations into sustainable, executable projects."

Head of the UNESCO Department, Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, Sheikha Aisha bint Mubarak Al Thani, said, "The hopes and future of this country rests upon the students. They must exert effort and utilize the resources provided by the state, including universities and colleges with scientific capabilities, to develop their capacities and skills to join fields that qualify them to lead in the development of this country and elevate it."

UNESCO Director of the Doha Office for the Gulf States Region and Yemen, Salah El Din Zaki Khaled said, "On Feb. 9, 2024, UNESCO launched the Call for Action Closing the Gender Gap in Science. This call includes recommendations towards an inclusive society in which women are not deterred from entering science or held back in their progress. Even minor changes at the societal level, such as increasing the visibility of female role models, can yield substantial differences.

"Qatar University's commitment to elevating the profile of women scientists and inspiring new generations reflects the State of Qatar's dedication towards ensuring equal participation of men and women in achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030."

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