In order to achieve full and equal access and participation in science for women and girls, and furthermore to achieve gender equality and their empowerment, the United Nations General Assembly in 2016 proclaimed 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
Science and gender equality are vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the past 15 years, the international community has made a great effort to inspire and promote the participation of women and girls in science. However, women continue to face obstacles in science: the gender gap in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) sectors persists, and although women’s participation in higher education careers has increased tremendously, they are still under-represented in these fields. Currently, less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women.
Women and girls constitute half of the world’s population and therefore half of its potential. Gender equality, in addition to being a fundamental human right, is essential for peaceful societies, full human potential and sustainable development. We pray for it.
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(PHOTO: UNICEF/UN0145554/Karin Schermbrucker)