The UNESCO Secretary-General has issued a message for the day, emphasizing the need for women and girls to have equal participation in scientific discoveries and innovations. He highlighted the systemic barriers and biases that prevent women from pursuing careers in science, such as limited access to education, underrepresentation in publications, and lower funding compared to men.
The Secretary-General believes that it is crucial to address gender inequalities by overcoming gender stereotypes, promoting role models to encourage girls to pursue scientific careers, developing programs to advance women in science, and creating work environments that nurture women’s talents, particularly those from minority groups.
UNESCO’s Call for Action provides recommendations aimed at tackling the root causes of gender-based inequalities in science. This year’s International Day theme is “Closing the Gender Gap in Science,” which aligns with SDG Goal 5: Gender Equality. The goal aims to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, eliminate harmful practices such as early and forced marriages and female genital mutilation, and provide universal access to sexual and reproductive health care.
According to recent studies, almost half of all married women globally lack decision-making power over their sexual and reproductive health rights. Therefore, it is imperative that we recognize the importance of including women and girls in science and take action towards closing the gender gap in this field.