International Day of Women and Girls in Science acknowledged on 11 February to recognize substantive contribution of women in science and technology and to emphasize the challenges they face in adopting this field.
Theme for 2019 International Day of Women and Girls in Science is “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth” declared by the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212.
UN data shows that at present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women. According to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education.
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said that Skills in science, technology, engineering are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. “Women and girls are very important in all these areas. Up till now they remain unhappily under-represented.
We must promote access to learning opportunities for women and girls, particularly in rural areas. Let us make sure that every girl, everywhere, has the opportunity to realize her dreams, grow into her power and contribute to a sustainable future for all,” said his message.
Senior Science Promotion Officer for Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Syeda Rehana Batool said that number of women and girls are increasing in all science fields. “There is a visible change everywhere whether in universities or in research organizations. We find more and more women taking up science fields.
Talking about challenges, she said that girls are getting better marks then boys in science fields but families and social mindset is the biggest challenge they face. “Some find it difficult to give time on career development in these fields after marriage,” she said.