UNITED Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has further increased gender inequalities, from school closures to a rise in violence and a greater burden of care in the home.
In his message to commemorate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Guterres stated that gender inequality was depriving the world of enormous untapped talent and innovation.
“Today, only one in three science and engineering researchers in the world is a woman. Structural and societal barriers prevent women and girls from entering and advancing in science. The COVID-19 pandemic has further increased gender inequalities, from school closures to a rise in violence and a greater burden of care in the home. This inequality is depriving our world of enormous untapped talent and innovation. We need women’s perspectives to make sure science and technology work for everyone. We can – and must – take action. With policies that fill classrooms with girls studying technology, physics, engineering, math. With targeted measures to ensure opportunities for women to grow and lead at laboratories, research institutions and universities,” he stated.
“With determination to end discrimination and stereotypes about women in science. And with more rigorous efforts to expand opportunities for women members of minority communities. All of this is especially important in the crucial field of artificial intelligence. There is a direct connection between low levels of women working in AI, and absurd gender biased algorithms that treat men as standard and women as an exception. We need more women developing artificial intelligence that serves everyone and works for gender equality.
Guterres called on everyone to create an environment where women could realize their true potential.
“We also need to reverse trends that keep young women scientists from pursuing careers that help us address the climate and environmental crises. I taught engineering. I know from personal experience that young women and men are equally capable and equally fascinated by science, brimming with ideas, and ready to carry our world forward. We must ensure that they have access to the same learning and work opportunities on a level playing field. On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, I call on everyone to create an environment where women can realize their true potential and today’s girls become tomorrow’s leading scientists and innovators, shaping a fair and sustainable future for all,” stated Guterres.