The state of women participation in innovation and science globally and in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region remain low, according to SADC Executive Secretary, Stergomena Lawrence Tax.
Ahead of the International Women's Day celebrations on Friday Tax in a statement said women and girls continue to be less engaged and under-represented in technology and innovation.
"This creates a missed opportunity in terms of their influence and ideas in transforming the society," she added.
According to Tax, through a number of instruments, SADC recognizes gender equality and development as an essential part of regional integration.
"As we commemorate the International Women's Day, we call upon SADC Member States to intensify efforts towards advancing gender equality, and the empowerment of women and girls," she said.
The approval of SADC Charter on Women in Science, Engineering and Technology in 2017 was a significant step in ensuring women and girls' participation in science and technology, she added.
Tax said SADC continues to advocate for the full engagement of women and girls in issues relating to innovation and technology and for the gender-responsive approach to innovation.
Meanwhile, this year's International Women's Day across the world will be commemorated under the theme; "Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change", which will recognizes the role of innovation in advancing gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.