International Day of Women and Girls in Science

11 February

On 22 December 2015, the General Assembly decided to establish an annual International Day to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology, through Resolution A/RES/70/212.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated on 11 February, is implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration institutions and civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science.

Gender equality is a global priority for UNESCO, and the support of young girls, their education and their full ability to make their ideas heard are levers for development and peace. 

Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the Agenda for Sustainable Development -- from improving health to combatting climate change -- will rely on harnessing all talent. That means getting more women working in these fields. Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent and creativity.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated each year on 11 February, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. This Day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened. The celebration is led by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners that promote women and girls' access to and participation in science.

MESSAGE FROM THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL

"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. We need to tackle biased perceptions amongst teachers, employers, peers and parents of the suitability of girls and young women to learn science – or learn at all – to pursue scientific careers or to lead and manage in academic spheres. It is difficult for girls to believe in themselves as scientists, explorers, innovators, engineers and inventors when the images they see on social media, in textbooks and in advertising reflect narrow and limiting gender roles. This is why UN Women is leading the “Un-stereotype Alliance” initiative, which encourages advertisers, tech companies and influencers to banish old-fashioned, stereotypical portrayals of gender in advertising that could diminish or limit the role of women in society. These inaccurate depictions can hinder women’s careers, including as scientific innovators."

—  Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO and Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women on the occasion of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science

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