International Day of Women and Girls in Science

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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 an annual observance dedicated to recognizing the significant part played by female scientists and encouraging girls to advance in the fields of science and technology. The objective is to promote gender equality and encourage more women and girls to take active roles in these sectors. This day highlights the need for equal access to science education and opportunities for women, while shedding light on the groundbreaking achievements and innovations of female scientists.

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed this observance in December 2015, to emphasize the critical role women and girls play in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In the Indian context, this observance is significant due to the country's rich history of accomplished female scientists such as Kalpana Chawla, Anandibai Joshi, and Janaki Ammal. Still, women remain underrepresented in these fields. International Day of Women and Girls in Science serves as a reminder to let go of gender biases and stereotypes that hinder the participation of women in these spheres.

In India, International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated with wide-ranging activities. Educational institutions organize webinars, workshops, and seminars that focus on the contributions of women in science and the challenges they face. They promote scientific research amongst female students and motivate them through interactions with renowned women scientists. The National Science Day, observed on February 28, often sees initiatives dedicated to promoting women in science, aligning it with the objectives of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, although they are not the same occasion. These efforts are critical to bridging the gender gap in science in India.

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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
  • Anandibai Joshi was the first Indian woman to receive medical education in the United States in 1886. She paved the way for many women in India to pursue careers in science and medicine.
  • Kalpana Chawla was an Indian-American astronaut and the first Indian woman to go to space. Chawla first flew on Space Shuttle Columbia in 1997 on a research mission and later perished in the Columbia disaster in 2003.

Top things to do in India 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:
    Super 30: While not exclusively about women and girls, this movie highlights the importance of education, even featuring some girls pursuing science.
    101 East - India's Ladycops:This documentary showcases women who are excelling in a field typically thought to be more appropriate for men.
  • Visit the Visvesvaraya Industrial & Technological Museum: Located in Bangalore, this museum is another great place to enjoy science. It’s home to various exhibits on engines, telecommunications, and more.

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