Int’l Day of Women and Girls in Science to be observed Sunday

DHAKA : The international community will observe Sunday as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to ensure science and gender equality to achieve internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, reports UNB.
It is time to support and invest in women and girls who want to pursue careers in scientific research, said United Nations Secretary-General in a message to mark the special day observed annually on 11 February, according to the official website.
“We need to encourage and support girls and women achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators”, he added.
The UN chief called for “concerted, concrete efforts” to overcome stereotypes and biases, such as media representations of scientists and innovators as being mainly men.
According to UN official website, the global community throughout the past 15 years has made many efforts to inspire and engage women and girls in science but they continued to be excluded from participating fully in science.
However, UNESCO data shows only around 30 per cent of all female students in higher education select the so-called STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering or mathematics.
In a joint statement, the Director General of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Audrey Azoulay and the Executive Director of UN Women Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said, one of the main tools for tackling gender inequality in the sciences is dismantling the barriers to girls and women, at home, in the classroom and in the workplace.
This requires a change in attitudes and the challenging of stereotypes, they added.
According to a study conducted in 14 countries, the probability for female students of graduating with a Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctor’s degree in science-related field are 18 per cent, 8 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37 per cent, 18 per cent and 6 per cent.
In December 2015, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to recognize the critical role of women and girls in science and technology communities and to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for them.