INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE

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"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%.

Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the Agenda for Sustainable Development from improving health to combatting climate change will rely on harnessing all talent. That means getting more women working in these fields. Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent and creativity.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated each year on 11 February, was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly to promote full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls. This Day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened. The celebration is led by UNESCO and UN-Women, in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners that promote women and girls' access to and participation 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, let 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.