Women and girls in science – from aspiration to reality

science

(Michael Longmire, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you in association with the European Commission.


Marking 11 February, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen praised the extraordinary achievements of women scientists across Europe, reminding our full potential was reached only if we used ‘all our talent and diversity’.

She acknowledged that not every woman and girl got a chance to realise their aspirations. “Less than 30 percent of researchers worldwide are women”, von der Leyen said in her video message, quoting UN data. “This must change”, she stressed.

In 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a Resolution declaring 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls.

In 2018, of almost 15 million scientists and engineers in the EU, 59% were men and 41% women, according to Eurostat.  “Equality for all and equality in all of its senses” is one of the major priorities of the von der Leyen Commission and of the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights. “My Commission will work hard to achieve full and equal access of women and girls in science. A Union of equality is one of our key priorities,” von der Leyen said.

Helena Dalli, Commissioner for Equality, also sent a video message where she stressed EU’s commitment to inclusion and equality as drivers of progress, innovation, and economic growth. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth today launched the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2020, celebrating female leaders in innovation and aiming to inspire the next generation to follow their footsteps.

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