UNESCO Reaffirms Priority Status of Gender Equality in Science

05 - Gender Equality

UNESCO addresses gender disparities and promotes equality in celebration of the 5th International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 and 12 February, at the United Nations Headquarters. 

It's delightful when your imaginations come true, isn't it?” 15-year-old Lara Bevan-Shiraz, Advocate for Girls in Science, referred to L.M. Montgomery’s quote when she talked about her pursuit of science education at the event in commemoration of fifth International Day of Women and Girls in Science. 

This event is organized by the Royal Academy of Science International Trust and International Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Portugal, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, Slovakia and Uruguay and stakeholders. The event brings together stakeholders from high-level government officials, representatives of international organizations, private sector, civil society as well as women scientists, including L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Laureates

Discussion focused gender inequality in all fields, particularly work in science, technology, chemistry and digital engineering. Speakers championed the idea of harnessing women’s talents and enhancing their participation in a manner fully consonant with the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Ms. Lily Gray, UNESCO Senior Liaison Officer in New York office, delivered UNESCO Director General’s message on this occasion. “UNESCO works daily to promote gender equality, which was established as one of the Organization’s cross-cutting priorities”. Numerous scientific breakthroughs remind us of the high capacity and critical role of women in pushing the barriers of knowledge in and outside the limits of the planet. Nonetheless, there is still a vast gender gap in science technology and innovation. The gender gap in science is rooted in stereotypes, lack of education and policies that address gender issues, as reported in UNESCO publications: Cracking the code and I’d blush if I could.  

“If we are to be able to address the enormous challenges of the twenty -first century – from climate change to technological disruption - we will need to rely on science and the mobilization of all our resources. It is for this reason that the world must not be deprived of the potential, the intelligence, or the creativity of the thousands of women who are victims of deep-seated inequality and prejudice. On the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020, UNESCO is calling on the international community, States and individuals to work together so that equality in the sciences and other fields can finally become a reality. Humanity has everything to gain– and so does science”.

Audrey Azoulay, Director General, Message on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girl

Download the complete message in PDF format : 

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As the United Nations agency with science in its core mandate, UNESCO supports national education systems by deconstructing the gender stereotypes and by strengthening States’ ability to deliver science and technology education with an egalitarian outlook.