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Why is International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebrated on February 11?

Celebrated every year on February 11, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed by the United Nation to promote the full and equal access and participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

It will be the eighth International Day of Women and Girls in Science and the theme is IDEAS (Innovate, Demonstrate, Elevate, Advance, Sustain). The aim is to build a bridge between the international community and women in science by linking their knowledge and expertise and its applications in a systematic, critical way for the 2030 agenda and its 17 global goals.

History

On March 14, 2011, the Commission on the Status of Women adopted a report, that aimed to encourage the participation of women and girls in education, training and science and technology. Moreover, focusing on the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work.

On December 20, 2013, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on science, technology and innovation for development, in which it recognised that to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, they should have full and equal access and participation in science, technology and innovation. It is imperative for women and girls of all ages.

Gender equality imperative for Science and Technology

The eighth assembly will be bringing women in science, youth, experts and professionals together with multi-stakeholder in dialogues and discussion for identifying conditions and tools to put science, technology and innovation at the heart of sustainable development programmes, international relations, and public and private sectors strategies and implementation plans.

The policymakers will be assisted at all levels whether in public or private sectors, for evolving a more mature relationship between science, policy, and society for strategies that they can commit to for the future.

This year, the focus is on the role of women and girls and science as relates to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) including— SDG 6 (clean water and sanitation), SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy), SDG 9 (industry, innovation, and infrastructure), SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and SDG17 (means of implementation).

This year, the aim is to connect the international community to women and girls in science, strengthening the ties between science, policy, and society for strategies oriented towards the future. The United Nations will showcase best practices, strategies, applied solutions in addressing SDGs challenges and opportunities. It will also include a science workshop for blind girls and a session from the blind fellow scientists on “Science in Braille: Making Science Accessible.” This workshop and session will be held for the first time.

As per the United Nations, “gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution not only to economic development of the world, but to progress across all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well.”

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