For information only – not an official document

8 February 2024

The Secretary-General

Message for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

11 February 2024

Gender equality in science is vital for building a better future for all. Unfortunately, women and girls continue to face systemic barriers and biases that prevent them from pursuing careers in science.

This deprives our world of great talent. Today, women make up only one-third of the global scientific community, obtaining less funding, fewer publishing opportunities and fewer senior positions at top universities than men. In some places, women and girls have limited or no access to education – an act of self-harm for the societies concerned, and a terrible violation of human rights.

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.

Closing the gender gap requires dismantling gender stereotypes and promoting role models that encourage girls to choose science; developing programmes 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.

Women and girls belong in science. It is time to recognize that inclusion fosters innovation, and let every woman and girl fulfil her true potential.

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