International Women and Girls Day: UN  calls on world to push women and girls for better science  

DILI, 11 february 2023 (TATOLI) – United Nations (UN) Secretary-General António Guterres calls on the world to push women and girls to get equal and better science.

A statement was said by the UN Sec. Gen on celebrating International Women and Girls’ day.

The United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 70/212 on 22 December 2015, which declared 11 February as the anniversary for women and girls. A theme is chosen each year to highlight a particular focus and discussion area around the focal point of gender equality in science.

In his statement published, stated that gender bias in science has resulted in drug tests that treat the female body as an aberration, and search algorithms that perpetuate discrimination, but the solution is simple: increase the numbers of women working in the field and support the girls hoping to join them one day.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres opens in a new window on Friday, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science appealed for concrete action to increase their ranks.

“On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we highlight a simple equation: More women and girls in science equals better science. Women and girls bring diversity to research, expand the pool of science professionals, and provide fresh perspectives to science and technology, benefiting everyone,” said Gutters

The Secretary-General called for initiatives such as new scholarships, internships, and training schemes, but also quotas, incentives, and mentorship programs, to help women overcome entrenched hurdles and build their careers.

Crucially, he stressed the need to affirm women’s rights and break down stereotypes, biases, and structural barriers.

“We can all do our part to unleash our world’s enormous untapped talent – starting with filling classrooms, laboratories, and boardrooms with women scientists,” said Guterres.

Meanwhile, Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO Director-General, in her message Opens in a new window for the Day, by saying that Theoretically, science should be open to everyone, yet it is still overwhelmingly male.

She said even though more girls are in school today than ever before, women and girls are underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO Opens in new window).

Just one in three researchers is a woman, and women account for just 35 percent of graduates in STEM-related fields. Their numbers are even smaller in cutting-edge fields such as Artificial Intelligence, where only one in five professionals is a woman.

“If these gender inequalities are so significant, it is because they are deeply rooted in our societies,” said Audrey Azoulay, the UNESCO Director-General, in her message opening a new window for the Day.

“It is because of the persistence of gender stereotypes and prejudices, which sometimes persuade girls that scientific studies are not for them, despite their tremendous potential.”

Sima Bahous, head of UN Women Opens a new window, the agency championing gender equality and Stereotypes start early.

The low number of women working in science, or studying to enter the field, directly reflects the discrimination they face around the world. This is even more true for marginalized women and girls, including indigenous and Afro-descendant women, women with disabilities, those living in rural areas, or who identify as LGBTIQ+.

“It starts in their early years and is shaped and reinforced by gender stereotypes and norms. These can be found embedded in curricula, textbooks, and teaching and learning practices. The choices imposed upon girls in school shape their careers and employment opportunities as adults.” said Bahous.



Journalist : Camilio de Sousa

Editor: Nelia B.


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