Guterres: Gender Bias in Science Limits the Contribution of Great Talent

Breaking Down Barriers: Promoting Gender Equality in Science on International Day

The Secretary-General issued a statement on the International Day of Science, emphasizing the need to address systemic barriers and biases preventing women and girls from pursuing careers in science. He highlighted that women only make up a third of the global scientific community, receive less funding compared to men, are underrepresented in publications, and hold fewer senior positions in major universities. In some places, women and girls have limited or no access to education, which he described as a violation of human rights.

To promote gender equality in science, the Secretary-General emphasized the importance of overcoming gender stereotypes, promoting role models for girls to pursue scientific careers, developing programs to advance women in science, and creating work environments that nurture women’s talents. He also called out minority groups who may face additional challenges in pursuing careers in science.

The theme chosen for this year’s International Day by UNESCO and UN Women is “Closing the gender gap in science”. UNESCO’s Call for Action provides recommendations aimed at tackling the root causes of gender-based inequalities in science. This aligns with SDG Goal 5: Gender Equality, which aims to end all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls, eliminate harmful practices such as early and forced marriages and female genital mutilation, and provide universal access to sexual and reproductive health care. Globally, almost half of all married women currently lack decision-making power over their sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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