A worker at the Agrobiodiversity Research Area of the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) holds a seedling plant in a glass vial. Photo: CIAT/Neil Palmer.

Taking on the greatest challenges currently facing the global community will mean harnessing all talent. As the world continues to grapple with COVID-19 and the critically important climate crisis, the full and equal participation and leadership of women and girls in the science and technology communities is more important than ever. Now is the time to recognize women’s contributions in research and innovation, smash stereotypes and defeat discrimination against women and girls in science.

In focus: International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Globally, only 33 per cent of researchers are women, and they are awarded less research funding than men, and are less likely to be promoted. In the private sector too, women are less present in company leadership and in technical roles in tech industries. Women account  for just 22 per cent of professionals working in artificial intelligence and 28 per cent of engineering graduates.  These glaring underrepresentations limit our ability to find inclusive, sustainable solutions to modern problems and build a better society for all.

Last year, at the Generation Equality Forum, the Action Coalition on Technology and Innovation was launched, bringing together governments, private sector companies, the UN system and civil society in order to make concrete commitments to women and girls in STEM. By 2026, the Action Coalition aims to double the proportion of women working in technology and innovation, and ensure that women and girls participate fully in finding solutions to the largest and most complex problems of our lives.

Join us on International Day of Women and Girls in Science, 11 February, as we call for women’s full and equal access to and participation in science, and celebrate those that are leading action and innovation around the world.

Joint message from Ms Sima Bahous, Executive Director of UN Women and Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

In a joint statement for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous and UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay call to put the principle of equality into action so that science works for women. Read more ➤

Social media

Use the hashtag #WomenInScience with messages that defy gender stereotypes and spread the word on the need to include more women and girls in STEM fields! A social media package with sharable data cards, inspirational quote cards, and illustrations of women who changed the world with their contributions in STEM is available here in English, French and Spanish.