On International Day of Women and Girls in Science,ICESCO calls for bolstering women’s participation in building a sustainable future
10 February 2024
On February 11th of each year, the world celebrates the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and on this occasion, for this year themed: “Women in Scientific Leadership: A New Era for Sustainability,” the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) seizes the opportunity to reaffirm the importance of bolstering the participation of women and girls in the fields of science, to contribute to building a sustainable and prosperous future, based on knowledge, creativity, innovation, and the achievement of excellent scientific research that benefits humanity.
In this context, ICESCO calls for concerted international efforts to address gender-based discrimination, support girls and women, and provide opportunities for their training in STEM fields, considered as essential levers to achieving peace and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Likewise, the Organization emphasizes that overcoming the major challenges to achieving the SDGs by 2030 requires mobilizing all human resources, including female capacities in scientific fields, especially since the percentage of female researchers worldwide does not exceed 30%.
As part of supporting its Member States’ efforts to enhance the presence of girls and women in science and scientific research, the Organization has implemented several initiatives, programs, and projects aimed at qualifying women and girls in the fields of technological entrepreneurship, artificial intelligence, data science, smart and sustainable cities. Additionally, ICESCO has been providing direct financial support to women and girls in science through its scholarship programs, on top of organizing many seminars and conferences relevant to the abovementioned fields, chief among which was hosting an international conference on women and university leadership at ICESCO Headquarters, in partnership with Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, to support international efforts geared towards strengthening female leadership in higher education.
In this regard, ICESCO emphasizes the importance of cooperation and coordination among countries, organizations, and relevant institutions to recognize and acknowledge women’s contributions to scientific research and innovation inside and outside the Islamic world countries throughout history. Moreover, the Organization stresses the necessity of breaking stereotypes and supporting women in overcoming the professional, social, economic, and financial challenges they face on their path toward building better societies.
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