International Day of Women and Girls in Science


Ottawa, February 11, 2016—The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science, today made the following statement marking the first International Day of Women and Girls in Science:

"As a scientist and a woman, I cannot express how excited I am to see the United Nations take up a cause that I have championed my entire life. Encouraging young women to enter careers in science and technological disciplines is one of my key goals as Canada's Minister of Science. This is why I applaud the UN in instituting the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which will be celebrated every year on February 11, beginning this year.

"According to a recent UN study, women and girls are far less likely to earn degrees in science; only 18 percent of female students versus 37 percent of male students are likely to graduate with a bachelor's degree in a science-related field. Simply put, this inequality cannot be allowed to continue unchallenged. Young women and girls need to be encouraged to explore and engage with science, and nations around the world need to be more proactive in fostering this interest.

"Women around the world—from Marie Curie to Roberta Bondar—have made great contributions to the body of scientific knowledge. We all have a responsibility to make sure young women and girls across Canada have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps.

"Recognizing a problem is always the first step toward addressing it, and the UN resolution founding the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an excellent development. It signals the global community's interest in achieving gender parity in educational opportunity and scientific participation—an important issue in Canada and around the globe.

"I invite all Canadians, women and men alike, to join me in celebrating this important step toward gender equality in science."

Follow the Minister on Twitter: @ScienceMin

For further information (media only), please contact:

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

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