International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated every year on February 11th. This day aims to promote gender equality in the field of sciences and encourage women and girls to pursue scientific careers. It highlights the achievements of female scientists and seeks to combat gender stereotypes that persist in this field. It is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the significant contributions of women to science and promote equal access to scientific opportunities for all.

On December 22, 2015, the General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212, proclaiming February 11th of each year as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The initiative is implemented by UNESCO and UN Women, in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners aiming to promote women and girls.

Globally, there has been a significant gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) for years. Although women have made immense progress in higher education, they remain underrepresented in these scientific categories.

Worldwide, research grants allocated to women are less than those allocated to their male counterparts, and despite representing 33.3% of the researcher population, women hold only 12% of seats in national academies of sciences. In cutting-edge sectors like artificial intelligence, female researchers make up only 22% of professionals.

While women have seen increased representation in higher education and research globally, only one-third of the world’s researchers are women.

In Africa, the percentage is around 30% with considerable disparities. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls are crucial not only for the economic development of the world but also in achieving all the goals and targets of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda.

It is urgent to further encourage women and girls to enter scientific fields, and also to provide those already in the sciences with the best conditions to reach their full potential!”

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