• Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Breaking Barriers: Why it’s time to close the gender gap in science


Feb 12, 2024
Guterres: Gender Bias in Science Limits the Contribution of Great Talent

The Secretary-General emphasized the importance of having women and girls participate equally in scientific discoveries and innovations, noting that systemic barriers and biases prevent them from pursuing careers in science. He pointed out that women only make up a third of the global scientific community, receive less funding compared to men, are underrepresented in publications, and hold fewer senior positions in major universities. In some places, women and girls have limited or no access to education, which he described as a violation of human rights.

The theme chosen for this year’s International Day by UNESCO and UN Women is “Closing the gender gap in science”. UNESCO’s 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. Globally, almost half of all married women currently lack decision-making power over their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

The Secretary-General believes that addressing gender inequalities requires overcoming gender stereotypes, promoting role models to encourage girls to pursue scientific careers, developing programs to advance women in science, creating work environments that nurture women’s talents especially those from minority groups. He concluded by stating that it is time to recognize that inclusion fosters innovation.

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