Spotlight Articles from Melissa Carl, SWE Washington Representative

Each month SWE NEWS will provide a spotlight update on our public policy initiatives related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education and the application of Title IX to STEM fields. This month's spotlight includes:

  • SWE President Stofer Attends Launch of Equal Futures Partnership;
  • President Obama Signs Six-Month Continuing Resolution;
  • AAUW Action Fund Releases Voter Education Guide;
  • White House Releases Sequestration Transparency Report;
  • Senate Examines Progress on the America COMPETES Act; and,
  • C.D. (Dan) Mote, Jr. Nominated to be the Next National Academy of Engineering President.

On behalf of the United States, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton launched the Equal Futures Partnership on September 24, 2012, along with 12 other founding members (Australia, Benin, Bangladesh, Denmark, Finland, Indonesia, Jordan, the Netherlands, Peru, Senegal, and Tunisia; as well as the European Union). Multilateral stakeholders included UN Women and the World Bank, and SWE President Alyse Stofer was in attendance at the launch.

The goal of the Equal Futures Partnership is “for women to participate fully in public life and to lead and benefit from inclusive economic growth.” At the launch, each founding member made new commitments to meet this goal, which included legal, regulatory, and policy reforms. Partners also reaffirmed their governments’ obligations and commitments to promote and protect women’s fundamental freedoms and human rights. Post-launch, founding partners “will continue consultations with their national stakeholders, including civil society, to translate commitments into action.” In April 2013, the Partnership will gather again at the World Bank Spring Meetings to report on progress and welcome new member countries.
As part of its commitments, the U.S. has four overarching themes: access to STEM education and careers; promotion of civic education and leadership to girls; economic security for survivors of domestic violence; and support for women entrepreneurs.  

Specifically, related to STEM, the U.S. plans to:

  • Improve data collection and dissemination, which is being lead by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Agriculture;
  • Build the skilled mentor pool, which is being lead by the Department of Energy (DOE), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA);
  • Promote research-based STEM learning, which is being lead by Discovery Education; and,
  • Improving access to online/mobile STEM skills training, which is being lead by Connect2Compete, a nonprofit organization launched by the Federation Communications Commission (FCC), as well as NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey.

For more information about the Equal Futures Partnership, please click here.

Click here for additional information about the U.S.’s commitments.