Women from China and other parts of the world have decisively contributed to the fields of public health, vaccine development, and medical care during the global COVID-19 pandemic.
But according to UNESCO, there are only 28 percent of women graduates in computer engineering and 40 percent in information studies worldwide. Careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics – known as STEM fields – are considered by many to be the future of the job market. These sectors can also promote technological innovation, social welfare, as well as inclusive and sustainable development.
China has witnessed visible improvements regarding gender equality and the increased participation of women in STEM, according to UNDP. In March, China’s Fourteenth Five-Year Plan was passed and outlined long-term goals for economic and social development.
UNDP wrote the goals provide and generate new opportunities to prioritise and promote gender equality. The core developmental agenda is to strengthen the divisions of science, technology, and research for a successful transition to an innovative digital economy.
In China, women have established more than half of the internet companies, according to UNDP. Women also make up over half of inventors applying for patents in the country. High-profile women have paved the way bridging gender gaps in the STEM field. In 2015, Tu Youyou became the first female Chinese scientist to win The Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for her discoveries of a novel therapy for malaria. Hu Qiheng, who played a leading role in promoting the development of China’s internet, was inducted as a global connector to the 2013 Internet Hall of Fame at the Internet Society and was granted the Lifetime Achievement Award by China Computer Federation.