About the project
The United Nations 2030 Agenda lists gender equality as one of its goals, but gender differences still exist in every country. Despite progress in some areas, no country has achieved true gender equality – while women globally earn 53% of STEM university degrees, they make up only 29% of the STEM workforce and only a third of STEM graduates are women (Girls Go Circular, 2022). This underrepresentation of women in STEM fields begins at an early age, and the gap in STEM interests widens throughout high school, college, and career.
In order to reduce prejudice in our culture, we need to create an enabling environment for girls and women in our classrooms, workplaces and society at large. This is where the DECODE project comes into play, whose goals are to increase the level of awareness of young girls about gender prejudices and gender stereotypes, to develop knowledge about gender equality and its importance, and to provide positive examples and practical experiences from the STEM field from a practical point of view. The DECODE project also aims to develop young people’s ability to recognize gender biases through non-formal educational methods.
The main activity of the DECODE project is organizing a youth exchange for girls who want to pursue careers in the STEAM field. The youth exchange will take place in Šiaulių technical creative center in Lithuania – 25 participants with five group leaders will gather with the purpose of creating a safe place where our young participants will be able to informally explore and solve gender prejudices, stereotypes, and explore the STEAM field in a practical way. The structure of the youth exchange will allow us to guide participants through the cycle of discovering the relationship between gender bias and STEAM itself, understanding how it manifests itself, and seeing what gender bias is and how it is related to careers in STEAM. This knowledge will benefit them in self-development, building mutual relationships, STEAM education and motivation to continue their career in this field.
The DECODE project is financed from the Erasmus+ program, and its leader is Šiaulių tehčniki štavarovos centras (Lithuania). Partners in the project are Fundacja mlodzi dla Europy (Poland), Center of Technical Culture Rijeka (Croatia), Kinoniki Sinetairistiki Epicherisiellinniki Symmetochi Neon (Greece), Salesian Oratory (Malta) and Středisko volného času Déčko (Czech Republic).