On every 11 February, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed which allow us to celebrate the outstanding achievements of women in science and put a much-needed emphasis on girls entering science. The UNESCO and UN Women, in partnership with intergovernmental agencies and organisations, as well as civil society partners, are implementing the International Day of Women and Girls in Science with the goal of supporting women and girls in science. The aim of the day is to encourage complete and fair access for women and girls to participate in science.
This day is an opportunity to encourage women and girls to have full and equal access to and participation in science. For UNESCO, gender equality is a global priority, while supporting young girls, their education and their full capacity to make their ideas heard are the levers of development and peace.
Since the International Day of Women and Girls in Science was established by the UN General Assembly on 22 December 2015, it aims to highlight the issue of celebrating women’s excellence in science and to remind the international community that science and gender equality must move hand in hand to tackle major global challenges and achieve all the goals and objectives of the 2030 Agenda.
Theme of International Day of Women and Girl in Science 2021
This year the theme of International Day of Women and Girl in Science 2021 is- “Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19”.
The COVID 19 outbreak has shown clearly the crucial role played by women researchers at various stages of the COVID-19 fight, from the advancement of virus knowledge, to the development of testing techniques and, finally, the virus vaccine.
Simultaneously, the COVID-19 pandemic has also a major adverse effect on women scientists, particularly in early career phases, which helps extend the current science gender imbalance and highlights gender inequalities within the scientific system which must be resolved through new policies, initiatives and frameworks that support women and girls in science.
The 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly will take place on 11 February 2021, virtually at the headquarters of the United Nations. The 6th International Women’s Day in the Assembly of Science will focus on Beyond the Border: Equality in Science for Society and with a specific focus on the importance of the social and cultural dimensions of science, technology and innovation in order to foster a sustainable growth.
According to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women at present. Just about 30 percent of all female students choose STEM-related fields in higher education. The enrolment of female students worldwide is especially low in ICT (3%), natural sciences, mathematics and statistics (5%) and engineering, development and construction (5%). (8 per cent).