UN Observance: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

“More than ever today, the world needs science and science needs women” stated Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, during the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11th February 2016.
These words, pronounced by Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO during the First International Day of Women and Girls in Sciences, in 2016, underlines the will of the international community to act against the subsisting inequalities in this field. Despite the efforts of the global community to inspire and engage women and girls in science, exclusion is still a reality for many.

Chinese Female Woman Scientist With Test Tube In Laboratory
A Chinese Asian female medical or scientific researcher or doctor using looking at a test tube of clear liquid in a laboratory with her colleague out of focus behind her.

This observance day, implemented on 22 December 2015 by the General Assembly, is promoted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Entity for gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN – WOMEN) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). It aims to support the access of women and girls and their participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education, training and research activities at all levels.

Young focused student using a tablet computer
Young focused student using a tablet computer in a library

According to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability that female students will graduate with a Bachelor’s degree is 18%, while the figure for male students stands at 37%.  Moreover, only 28% of current researchers worldwide are women. These figures testify to the work that remains to be done. Governments, civil society, but also the media and citizens have a  responsibility to act.

The Global Foundation for Democracy and Development, together with its sister organization the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarollo, are taking action to help correct this issue. These efforts are evidenced through the multitude of initiatives it manages, be it the research studies it publishes, the international panel discussions/workshops it organizes or the UN statements it submits ( which includes its latest statement to be delivered during through  the 61st session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which will be held at UN Headquarters on March 2017. This statement aims to raise awareness about the underrepresentation of women in Latin American circles, in particular scientific and technological ones. The paper also provides practical solutions and promotes Dominican initiatives.

As a societal issue, everyone can get involved.

Support the movement by sharing it on social media, using the hashtag  #Makeithappen !

 

For more information, please visit: http://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/index.shtml

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