February 11 – International Day of Women and Girls in Science

On 11 February, the United Nations, partners worldwide, women and girls will mark the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. A 2017 white paper by the World Economic Forum suggests that 65 per cent of children entering primary school today will have jobs that do not yet exist. While more girls are attending school than before, girls are significantly under-represented in STEM subjects. They appear to lose interest in STEM subjects as they reach adolescence and in many cases may not be encouraged by social and family pressures to take up higher studies in science. How can this unfortunate trend be reversed? There has to be investment in teacher training, gender-responsive technology and innovation, more opportunities for women in science, technology and engineering at college and university levels. Women constitute 50% of the world’s population and if they are not brought into the mainstream of science and research, then many applications of science and technology like artificial intelligence, will have gender-based biases. That is dangerous for the whole population.

In order to encourage more women to take up education and careers in science, technology and mathematics, the United Nations has designated February 11th as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The first time this day was celebrated worldwide was in 2015. The Institute of Physics will feature your picture on Twitter. Tweet a selfie and say what you do in physics using #iamaphysicist. Institute of Physics (@PhysicsNews) will retweet your selfies on #WomenScienceDay, so be sure to snap and share! #WomenInSTEM.

Share in the comment box below, your views and information about your favourite women scientist, mathematician, or engineer.

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