UNITED NATIONS | Xinhua | UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday emphasized the importance of gender equality in science in his message for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which falls on Feb. 11.
Guterres highlighted the critical role of women and girls in scientific fields, stating that “gender equality in science is vital for building a better future for all.”
Despite the importance of their participation, Guterres pointed out the significant challenges women and girls face in the scientific community. “Unfortunately, women and girls continue to face systemic barriers and biases that prevent them from pursuing careers in science,” he said.
Guterres shed light on the stark disparities within the scientific community, noting, “Today, women make up only one-third of the global scientific community,” and they face considerable obstacles in terms of funding, publishing opportunities and attaining senior positions.
The secretary-general also addressed the severe educational limitations faced by women and girls in certain regions, describing it as “an act of self-harm for the societies concerned, and a terrible violation of human rights.”
Guterres underscored the necessity of women and girls’ involvement in science to tackle global challenges effectively.
“From climate change to health to artificial intelligence, the equal participation of women and girls in scientific discovery and innovation is the only way to ensure that science works for everyone,” he said.
To bridge the gender gap in science, Guterres called for comprehensive measures, including “dismantling gender stereotypes and promoting role models that encourage girls to choose science; developing programs to support the advancement of women in science; and cultivating a working environment that nurtures the talents of all, including women members of minority communities.” ■
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