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International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The UN General Assembly resolution 70/212, aimed at ensuring equal opportunities for women and girls in the field of science, exclusion and discrimination against them, has been proclaimed February 11th as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Incidentally, Armenia was among the four dozens of states that initiated this resolution.


“It is necessary to encourage and support women and girls in their quest for their potential as researchers and innovators”, – said UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in a message on the occasion.


Over the past 15 years, the global community has made considerable progress in terms of involvement of women and girls in science. Despite this, women and girls are still facing restrictions and discrimination in this area. This is evidenced by the UN data. Meanwhile, science, innovation and gender equality, incorporated into the 2030 Development Agenda, are indivisible elements in the process of achieving development goals.


According to a study conducted in 14 countries, opportunities of being awarded bachelor’s, master’s and doctor’s degrees for women and girls make 18%, 8% and 2%, respectively, whereas for men these figures are 37%, 18% and 6%.


According to the RA Charter Service, 37 percent of those with a scientific degree are women. According to the European Union Statistical Service, one third of European scholars are women. Scientists at the University of Indiana, USA, calculating the number of publications by male and female scientists, have resulted in almost the same ratio. The percentage of authors of scientific works (by women/men ratio) is 30/70 in the world respectively. Researchers have analyzed 5.5 million scientific articles published in the Web of Science International Database from 2008 to 2012, with over 27 million scientists.


By the way, for over 20 years, L’Oreal and UNESCO have been implementing joint projects for the promotion of women in science. Since 1998, each year, five women from each continent are nominated for the Women’s Science Contest for recognition by their scientific achievements, their commitment, and their impact on society. As a rule, each of them has had a unique career path, combining exclusive talent, loyalty to profession and courage in a field where men still dominate.


Since 2000 each year International scholarships UNESCO L’Oréal are also awarded to 15 promising young female scientists. To date, scholarships have been provided to more than 2,795 women in 115 countries, allowing them to pursue their research.


It should be noted that this year’s L’Oreal-UNESCO Women’s Awards Ceremony will be held in March in Paris. Five laureates from the competition will be selected by an international jury consisting of 12 prominent scientists. Each laureate will receive a € 100,000 prize. The award ceremony is also important because of the increased visibility of prominent female scientists and thus provides strong role models for girls and young women who prefer a science career.


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