Women and girls have long faced barriers to pursuing careers in science. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has highlighted these challenges, including gender bias, limited access to education, and underrepresentation in publications and senior positions at universities.
Despite these challenges, the Secretary-General believes that it is crucial for women and girls to participate equally in scientific discoveries and innovations. He suggests that addressing gender inequalities requires overcoming stereotypes, promoting role models to encourage girls to pursue scientific careers, developing programs to support women in science, and creating work environments that nurture the talents of women, especially those from minority groups.
UNESCO has chosen “Closing the gender gap in science” as the theme for this year’s International Day. Their Call for Action provides recommendations aimed at tackling the root causes of gender-based inequalities in science. This aligns with SDG Goal 5: Gender Equality, which 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.
In fact, almost half of all married women globally lack decision-making power over their sexual and reproductive health and rights. It is time for us to recognize that inclusion fosters innovation, and we must take action to close the gender gap in science once and for all.