International Day of Women and Girls in Science: encouraging gender equality to empower women and girls
International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGIS) is celebrated annually on 11 February to encourage gender equality and empower women in all levels of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. This year, the focus is on the role of women and girls in the purview of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
A major challenge for women and girls in STEM is the gender gap. According to the latest research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), UK, only 16% of female respondents have had a career in technology recommended to them, compared to 33% of males. Similarly, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) found that nearly 50% of female STEM students think data science is ‘too theoretical and low impact’ and only about 15% - 22% of all professionals in data science-related roles are held by women. It is predicted that data science will see more growth than almost any other field by 2029. Therefore, it is important to attract new people to join this rewarding and rapidly evolving field of data science and AI.
The day aims to connect women and girls in science with the UN Fora and strengthen the ties between science, policy, and society for future-oriented strategies. It will showcase best practices, strategies and applied solutions by conducting workshops, dialogues and discussions to address the challenges and opportunities faced by women and girls in science. In this light, for the first time, a science workshop specifically for blind girls and a session on “Science in Braille: Making Science Accessible” will be held, among many others.