UNITED NATIONS: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres underscored the imperative of gender equality in science to foster a better future for all, as he commemorated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science on February 11th.
Highlighting systemic barriers and biases hindering women and girls from pursuing scientific careers, Guterres lamented their underrepresentation in the global scientific community. Women receive less funding, face publication disparities, and hold fewer senior positions in universities, exacerbating gender disparities in science.
Guterres condemned the limited or absent access to education for women and girls in certain regions, deeming it a grave violation of human rights. He emphasized the necessity of their equal participation in scientific discoveries and innovations, spanning fields like climate change, health, and artificial intelligence, to ensure science’s benefits are inclusive.
Addressing gender inequalities mandates the dismantling of stereotypes and the promotion of role models inspiring girls to pursue scientific careers. Guterres advocated for the development of programs facilitating women’s advancement in science and the creation of supportive work environments, particularly for women from minority groups.
Asserting that women and girls rightfully belong in science, Guterres urged recognition of inclusion as a catalyst for innovation, enabling every individual to realize their full potential. The theme for this year’s International Day, “Closing the gender gap in science,” underscores the concerted efforts led by UNESCO and UN Women to promote gender parity in the scientific realm.
Guterres’ message resonates as a call to action, urging global stakeholders to prioritize gender equality in science to unlock its full potential for societal advancement. By fostering inclusive environments and empowering women and girls in science, nations can harness their talents to address pressing challenges and drive innovation, ultimately advancing towards a more equitable and prosperous future for all.