The celebration of the  International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2020 was co-organized by UNESCO with the participation of the International Science Council (ISC) at Paris on 7th February 2020. The invited speakers and participants discussed the issue of gender gap in science, the conclusions of the collaborative global project, “Gender Gap in Science : A Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing, and Natural Sciences: How to Measure It, How to Reduce It?” by ISC.

IUBS is one of the partners for a global project.The findings of the project can be found here. These findings were presented in a recent Conference held at the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy in November 2019.

L S Shashidhara, the president of IUBS and Catharine Jami of the International Union of History and Philosophy of Science, participated in the event as speakers. Shashidhara presenting his views said, "While ways to improve representation of women in IUBS were going on for decades, our participation in Gender Gap helped us to understand the scale of the problem better. There are three major indicators of Gender Gap, which need different kinds of interventions and remedial measures. One: poor enrolment of girls in science due to a variety of prejudices in the society, second harassment at work place making their creativity and efforts less productive and finally discrimination leading to increase in the gap as we move upwards in the ladder and maximum being in leadership roles. Due to prevailing Gender Gap in the leadership positions at National Committees, the gap is naturally even more in International Unions such as IUBS. Discussions across different unions and other national and international scientific communities have helped us coming out with appropriate steps towards reducing Gender Gap. We have set up a Gender Gap working group and actively seeking nomination of women for IUBS executive positions through National committees and member unions. As a first step, we are putting some proactive measures to ensure more women in our member organizations."

While answering a question about the gender gap in India he said, "For decades, India is trying to reduce gender gap in science. In the past one or two decades, there have been substantial improvement, but still a long way to go to achieve equality. Past couple of years have been encouraging. We have had improved representation of women in scientific unions, scholarships and research grants."

“All human beings should be in a position to know that science is theirs to study, practice, and appropriate,” Jami said while presenting her views. “This is crucial at a time when we are faced with the promotion of so-called ‘alternative facts’. In view of the urgent need to find effective ways of dealing with the major threats confronting the human race, it is essential that we draw on the full resources of scientific talent available to us, not just the half of it defined by one gender.”

For more information on the Gender Gap in Science Project, visit the website: https://gender-gap-in-science.org/

A detailed news by International Science Council (ISC) about the event can be found here.

Event Podcasts made by the International Science Council are available here.

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Conference on Global Approach to the Gender Gap in Mathematical, Computing and Natural Sciences: How to Measure It, How to Reduce It