The world needs science and science needs women: UNESCO chief

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Students conducting a research at a university laboratory in Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia. Photo: Nafise Motlaq / World Bank

Humanity cannot afford "to ignore half of its creative genius", the head of the UN agency for education, science and culture (UNESCO) has urged.

Irina Bokova made the call ahead of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science observed every year on 11 February.

According to UN estimates, women account for only 30 per cent of the world's researchers and even lower percentages at higher decision-making levels.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

The world needs science and science needs women, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova urged as she issued a rallying call for people around the world to "take a stand" for girls and women in science.

Stereotypes, social and cultural restrictions are keeping girls from education and preventing them from embracing careers in science, Ms Bokova said.

It also throws a shadow over efforts to implement the Paris Agreement on Climate Change although women are on the frontline of the battle.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 42”

 

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