In a message for the day, it was noted that women and girls continue to face systemic barriers and biases that prevent them from pursuing careers in science. Currently, women only make up one-third of the global scientific community and receive less funding and underrepresentation compared to men. They also hold fewer senior positions in major universities. In some places, women and girls have limited or no access to education, violating human rights.
The Secretary-General believes that it is essential for women and girls to participate equally in scientific discoveries and innovations in order for science to benefit everyone. He suggests that addressing gender inequalities requires overcoming stereotypes, promoting role models, developing programs that encourage advancements, and creating work environments that nurture women’s talents – especially those from minority groups.
The theme for this year’s International Day is “Closing the gender gap in science.” The goal is to tackle the root causes of gender-based inequalities in science. Recommendations from UNESCO’s Call for Action aim to address these issues.
Additionally, the goal of Gender Equality (SDG 5) is to empower women and girls by eliminating discrimination and violence, harmful practices, and promoting gender equality and women’s participation in leadership. Globally, the aim is to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health care.