Toronto, Feb 10 (Canadian-Media):Despite some progress in recent years, achieving equality and parity in science remains an important challenge for policy-makers and the scientific community at large. This commemoration will examine the need for policy changes at all levels, to address the gender imbalance that exists in scientific fields, as well as in other areas including technology, engineering, mathematics and cutting-edge, innovative technologies.
The role that women in science can play at all levels has become a priority on the science agendas of many national and international political institutions. Although the number of female science graduates has increased, true equality and parity in science has not yet been achieved.
Over the past 25 years, the United Nations and its agencies have realized the gender-gap in science; however, the advancement of women and girls in science has not only stalled, but the international community is seeing a recidivist slide backwards.
The question to be asked is "Why?" Why have there been so few female scientists chosen to speak at high-level events, or selected to take part in international decision-making bodies, or to deal with policy formulation?
In striving towards equality, peace and prosperity and towards universal sustainable development, we must recognize the role of women in science in achieving implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
The role of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development in suggesting policy recommendations to Heads of State and Government, as well as to parliamentarians, will be highlighted, the significant role of the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), as the responsible UN entity serving as the Secretariat for the Commission, will be discussed, and similar to neglected areas of science and the official UN bodies that deal with them will be presented. The role of the scientific diaspora will also be discussed.
The 2018 International Day of Women and Girls in Science Forum (IDWGS-2018) aims to mobilize women in science expertise from a wide range of disciplines that can contribute to achieving sustainable development goals. It will explore innovative ways to measure and assess data produced by International Organizations. The Forum will also provide a unique opportunity for policy-makers and women in science experts to propose International Framework and Action Plan for Equality and Parity in Science.
The purpose of this Forum is to harness the strategies, expertise and resources across the broadest spectrum of policy-makers, professionals, civil society and the private sector to move equality and parity in science for sustainable development into the mainstream discourse. It is anticipated that this will spark sustained public demand for lasting political action in support of an ambitious outcome from the 2030 Development Agenda process and other declarations and Outcome Documents of other UN fora.
The Forum Planning Committee has made every effort to ensure that perspectives from north/south, gender, youth, older persons, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, global geographic areas, expert constituencies, and international networks are included.
Welcoming the efforts of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the International Telecommunication Union and other relevant organizations in supporting women scientists and in promoting the access of women and girls to and their participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, training and research activities at all levels, United Nations decided on Dec 2015 to proclaim 11 February of each year the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
"We need to encourage and support girls and women achieve their full potential as scientific researchers and innovators." — UN Secretary-General, António Guterres was reported to state.
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 order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212 declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.