"We need to encourage and support girls and women achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators." - UN Secretary-General, António Guterres
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 many parts of the world, girls and young women continue to carry the double burden of being both young and female. They often face negative cultural attitudes and practices as well as gender- biased social and political processes that limit their opportunities and undermine their self esteem. Moreover, girls and women shoulder the heaviest burdens of poverty and inequality as they stand on the frontlines as victims of climate change, including those of natural disasters.
Despite all the hardships and difficulties encountered by women and girls all around the world, without a doubt, they possess the collective power to change their lives, the societies and the world we live in. Just as they solve their daily issues in their families, women are continually developing innovative, effective ways to improve their lives and even, develop their communities. By bringing together their wisdom, intelligence and creativity, young women are, indeed, leading change and innovation.
Observed on the 11th of February every year, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science recognises the critical role that women and girls play in both Science and Technology. Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth as per our Fourth Millennium Plan of Action, we encourage all stakeholders to adopt and strengthen sound policies and enforceable legislation for the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of all young women, at all levels. WAY also encourage all members to undertake necessary reforming actions to give young women the equal rights to economic resources, as well as to ownership and control over the other forms of property, financial services, inheritance and natural resources.
We believe meaningful progress must start with the rights and dignity of women, by nurturing their ingenuity as well as creativity, and enhancing the use of enabling technologies, in particular Information and Communication Technology, to empower young women.
On this International Day, Iet us urge commitment to end partiality, greater investments in education for all women and girls as well as opportunities for their careers and longer-term professional advancement so that all can benefit from their ground-breaking future contributions.
Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science!