International Day of Women and Girls in Science: “Equality and Parity in science for peace and development”
UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in partnership with the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE- Africa), Microsoft Kenya, African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE), the Ministry of Education together with other key stakeholders and partners in gender equality and women’s empowerment in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), have come together to celebrate the International day of Women and Girls in science 2018. The celebration will be held on 12 February, 2018 at the UN Complex in Gigiri.
The theme for this year’s celebrations will be on “Gender Equality and Parity in Science for Peace and Development” with the focus being to encourage girls and young women to not only choose science but also enjoy science. The event is all about inspiring women and girls to see the tremendous opportunities that exist in all the STEM fields. This year’s commemoration will also examine the need for policy changes at all levels to address the gender imbalance that exists in scientific fields, as well as in other key areas including engineering, mathematics and cutting-edge innovative technology. The overall objective of the celebration of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science is to give visibility to the women scientists who have made a difference in STEM fields and to encourage young and upcoming female scientists as well as girls in secondary schools to look beyond the gender stereotypes and embrace STEM careers.
Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science.
Unfortunately, women and girls continued to be excluded from participating fully in science. 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%, 8% and 2% respectively, while the percentages of male students are 37%, 18% and 6%. In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212 declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.