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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Celebrated every year on the 11th of February, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science recognizes the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. It serves as an opportunity to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and

This Day offers a chance to encourage women and girls to participate fully and equally in science. UNESCO views gender equality as a global issue and believes that empowering young girls, educating them, and giving them the opportunity they need to voice their opinions will contribute to the development of the world and peace.

There are several theories explaining why fewer women choose professions in the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Some claim that girls tend to be more self-critical and undervalue their talents, leading them to believe they are unfit to pursue STEM fields in higher education. According to studies, girls perform on science exams just as well as boys, but they also tend to perform well in other disciplines and have more options for what to study. A further contributing element might be the perception of being a member of a small minority in a workplace or on a university course, which could discourage girls from pursuing careers in engineering or research.

Many people worry that being a member of a minority group will result in prejudice and increase the amount of effort required to achieve success. This year’s celebration focuses on ‘Closing the Gender Gap in Science: Accelerating Action’, with the 9th International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly taking place in the United Nations Headquarters, New York from 8-9 February under the theme ‘Women and Girls in Science Leadership, a New Era for Sustainability’. Let us remember the immense contributions of Marie Curie, Janaki Ammal, Katherine Johnson, Rosalind Franklin, Gladys West, Flossie Wong-Staal, Asha de Vos and countless girls and women to science and encourage them to walk forward.

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