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United Nations Expert Meeting on Space for Women

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Organized jointly by
the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and UN Women 4 – 6 October, 2017, New York, United States of America the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) and UN-Women had called for contributions towards The United Nations Expert Meeting on Space for Women project, to be held at the UN-Women Headquarter in New York, from 04 to 06 October 2017. The meeting is organized as a preparatory event of the 50th anniversary of the first United Nations Conference on the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UNISPACE+50). The meeting will focus on sharing ideas and expertise regarding space and women, enhancing existing partnerships and forging new ones, strengthening and delivering targeted capacity-building and technical advisory activities, and promoting efforts to encourage women and girls’ involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.
It is at this point that I became interested in the activities, preparation of UNISPACE+50 and contribution towards the role of UNOOSA in implementing the Space for Women Project.   I was also interested in joining other experts to share knowledge and ideas and to have input towards building the UN Space for Women project. My input and contributions are based on the technologies that can be used to attract women and girls into space sector.  These technologies are aligned with the programs and careers that are mostly done by women and girls in both developed and developing countries. Programs such as STEM education can be used to attract girls and women into space sector.  Space can be regarded as the best medium for getting girls and women interested in Science and Engineering at Schools and Universities. Space scientists, engineers and astronauts can also be used in outreach programs to attract girls and women into space sector. Space programs can also be introduced in curriculum from primary schools in order to educate girls at an early stage.  I submitted an abstract of my paper titled: Earth Observation Technology: A sustainable Tool for Women to Monitor the Environment. This paper, professional experience, knowledge, skills on space science and other participation on UN events, has made me to qualify for the meeting after the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs and UN-Women, carefully evaluated all applications (quotes from the invitation letter). It is at this point that I was invited to participate in and contribute to the Expert Meeting on Space for Women project. The Expert Meeting organizers have agreed to provide me with fully funding support consisting of a round trip air ticket to and from New York, United States of America including living expenses for the duration of the meeting.
My main contributions will be to make a presentation on the topic of the abstract I have submitted as well as to support the Expert Meeting as a session moderator or rapporteur (quotes from invitation letter).  My participation to the meeting will motivate and inspire other girls and women to pursue space science programs. It will also put BIUST and Botswana on the map. General my motive is to teach and guide multicultural nations the benefits of Space science and technology for economic growth and sustainable development.  To continue guiding, advising and educating nations as well as to drive Botswana and United Nation vision, mission and sustainable development goals. To encourage girls and women to pursue space science programs for sustainable development in order to achieve the gender equality and empower women and girls.
Professional experience relevant to this event
I am a volunteer member of Africa First Moon Mission (Africa2Moon), Organization for inspiration, education and science https://africa2moon.developspacesa.org/who/volunteer-science-engineering-panel/ . It inspires youth and young leaders about space science that it exists and real. We believe AFRICA can develop its mission to the moon and that Space science can solve many African challenges from climate change to environmental monitoring for sustainable African Development. I have been participating at the Botswana STEM Fairs, showcasing the technologies and live projects that have been developed and produced through the use of Space applications and the advanced information communication technologies and how these technologies benefit the society. Also encourage scholars to pursue the programs that are very scarce to avoid overcrowding for one program.
Basuti  Gerty  Bolo

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