Published On: Sun, Feb 11th, 2018

U.N. Chief Delivers Message On  International Day of Women & Girls In Science

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By Janet Ekstract

UNITED NATIONS (TURKIS HJOURNAL) – As today marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science annually observed on February 11, the United Nations is emphasizing an ever increasing call for more equality within the field of scientific research and mathematics for women and girls.

The United Nations General Assembly in December 2015, adopted a resolution that created an annual International Day to recognize the essential role  that  women and girls play in the scientific and technology communities..

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that due to “systematic discrimination” within those sectors, women work in less than 30 percent of research and development positions globally.

Mr. Guterres stressed that the time has come to fully support and invest in women and girls who want to pursue careers in this field and delivered his crucial message to mark this very important day.

The secretary-general commented that: “We need to encourage and support girls and women to achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators. Women and girls need this, and the world needs this.”

As part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mr. Guterres said it is essential to give girls and women, greater opportunities and equality within the scientific research and math sectors “if we are to achieve our ambitions” for the sustainable goals.

It is essential to overcome stereotypes and bias that has traditionally been depicted by the media and society as a predominantly male profession, the U.N. chief stated.

Two additional top U.N. officials also shared their views about this in a joint statement today. Director-General of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Audrey Azoulay and Executive Director of U.N. Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka stated that the overall image that only men prevail within those sectors is making it even harder for girls to have the confidence that they can also become scientists, explorers and inventors.

The related topic to be pondered within this context is the fact that past and current education around the world, rarely  mentions prominent achievements of women and girls within these sectors as well as other sectors. One excellent example of a woman who was a pioneer within scientific research and math was Marie Curie.

Both U.N. officials commented that their hope for the future is that more females will be recognized for their ongoing achievements in science and technology across the globe and added “which will be the greatest when it draws on the full talent, creativity and ideas of women and girls in science.”

Since women are the majority worldwide, it is vital that their innate talents be recognized in these areas and that they receive the highest level of training possible within their nations as well as being given incentives to achieve within these areas that the directors said are so “vital to developing economies.”

They also echoed the secretary-general’s alert to deal with gender stereotypes across the board whether in classrooms. at work and in society at large. They stressed that this will require a major shift and bolder steps to conquer long ingrained attitudes.

The director-general and executive director also stated that “Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – from improving health to combating climate change – will rely on harnessing all talent.”

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