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UN Calls for Smashing Stereotypes


Students at the Female Experimental High School in Herat, Afghanistan.

United Nations Secretary-General Antnio Guterres said it is time to support and invest in women and girls who want to pursue careers in scientific research.

Credit: Graham Crouch/World Bank

To mark the annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science on Sunday, United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cited the need to support and invest in women and girls who want to pursue careers in scientific research.

He noted systematic discrimination has led to women occupying less than 30% of research and development jobs globally. Guterres called for "concerted, concrete efforts" to debunk stereotypes and biases, such as media representations of researchers and innovators as being primarily male.

Both UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization Director-General Audrey Azoulay and UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said stereotypes make girls doubt they can be researchers and inventors. "We need to tackle biased perceptions amongst teachers, employers, peers, and parents of the suitability of girls and young women to learn science--or learn at all--to pursue scientific careers or to lead and manage in academic spheres," the officials contended.

From UN News Center (Brussels)
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