A message from President Michael D Higgins marking the UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which takes place on Thursday, 11 February.
In his message, the President said that the International Day provides an appropriate occasion “to celebrate the contribution of women to the field of science, to acknowledge how important a contribution it is, and to highlight the ongoing need for action to ensure the voices of women and girls are heard more widely and at every level in the world of science.”
Noting that, despite progress in recent years, a significant gender gap remains, the President highlighted a number of issues that affect women’s participation in science and technology, to be addressed urgently.
In his message, President Higgins also addressed “every young girl who is wondering if a future in science is for her”, by highlighting the many positive female role models and telling aspiring female scientists to “carry your knowledge and skills with pride.”
Throughout his term in office, President Higgins has drawn attention to the gender gap in the science and technology sector, saying society must do more to harness the creativity and innovation of all women and girls, by investing in inclusive STEM education and research, and structuring career paths in science and technology that do not exclude women and girls at any stage of their career.
The President has also consistently argued that the benefits of research and scientific discoveries must be shared equitably and made available to poorer nations - a point the President reiterated throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, where access to vaccines to date has been very unevenly spread among countries.