International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Quick Facts - EU

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2024 Date11 February 2024
2025 Date11 February 2025

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

International Day of Women and Girls in Science in
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International Day of Women and Girls in Science is a global observance aimed at recognizing and promoting the critical role that women and girls play in science and technology. This event endeavours to challenge gender bias and inequality, and advocate for full and equal access to participation in science for women and girls. It sheds light on female scientists' achievements, encourages more representation in STEM fields, where they are traditionally underrepresented, and inspires future generations.

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science was legitimately declared by the United Nations General Assembly to be celebrated worldwide on the 11th of February, starting from 2015. In the European Union, the observance is of particular importance given the Union's commitment to gender equality and scientific and technological innovation. The EU has implemented laws and policies to eliminate gender discrimination in education, employment, and career advancement. Despite this, women in the EU are still underrepresented in scientific research and development. This day serves as a reminder of the need for continued efforts to empower women and girls in scientific disciplines across the EU member states.

The observance of International Day of Women and Girls in Science in the European Union typically involves conferences, debates, and workshops. These events are often spearheaded by various governmental bodies, NGOs, and scientific institutions with activities in schools and universities to promote gender equality in science education. The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) actively promotes this day, inviting all stakeholders to reaffirm their commitment to creating stronger gender equality in science and technology. The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is observed on the 11th of February each year, the same day as the rest of the world.

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Facts about Women and Girls in Science

  • The theme for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2023 was (Innovate. Demonstrate. Elevate. Advance) - I.D.E.A.: Bringing communities Forward for sustainable and equitable development.
  • According to UNESCO, fewer than 30% of researchers worldwide are women. Additionally, only 35% of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields worldwide are women.
  • Three focus areas highlighted in the 2023 International Day of Women and Girls in Science Assembly are:
    1) Transforming Cities and Infrastructure for Sustainable Future
    2) The Road to Sustainable Transport
    3) Sustainable Business and Industry Communities
    4) Breaking Boundaries: Space Community I.D.E.A.S. for Sustainable Development
    5) Making Science Accessible
  • The European Union releases a publication called She Figures every three years, which provides data and statistics about gender equality in research and innovation. This publication offers a comprehensive overview of the situation of women in science and helps identify progress and remaining obstacles for their full participation in STEM fields.
  • In tertiary education, there is a higher proportion of women graduating in natural sciences, mathematics, and statistics compared to engineering, manufacturing, and construction. In 2018, 61% of graduates in the former group were women, but they represented only 27% in the latter fields.

Top things to do in the EU for this observance

  • Discover 12 notable women in STEM who have made a lasting impact on history.
  • Learn how to get children interested in STEM. Some tips include cooking and baking as the mixing and measuring of values can create an interest in science. Other tips include using more math in everyday life. Discover more tips.
  • Watch a film to learn more about Women and Girls in Science:
    The Gender Equality Paradox (2011): This Norwegian documentary explores why Nordic countries, considered the most gender-equal societies in the world, have the lowest participation of women in STEM fields.
    Hidden Figures (2016): Although not EU-based, it is an important internationally acclaimed movie that recounts the true story of three African-American female mathematicians who played vital roles in NASA's space program.
  • Visit the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) events: Through their initiative, EIT WOMEN, they organize engaging workshops, seminars, and panel discussions to inspire future generations of female innovators.

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