International Day of Women and Girls in Science

By Steven Galvin - Last update

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Today marks International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The day aims to recognise the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries, but also as agents of change.

Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Over the past decades, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science.

In order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, the United Nations General Assembly declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2015.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

In Ireland, Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, Simon Harris marked the day saying:

“Today we aim to amplify the critical role that women and girls can and do play in science and technology.

“Progress in gender equality and progress in science go hand-in-hand when trying to address global issues.

“We have made good progress in recent years, and Ireland has been steadily moving up the international rankings, with 47% of all researchers in the higher education sector in Ireland being women. But we have a long way to go, just 27% of research personnel in enterprise are women.

“Three of our largest funders of research: Science Foundation Ireland, the Irish Research Council and the Health Research Board, require Higher Education Institutions to have Athena SWAN Gender Equality Accreditation in order to be eligible for research funding.

“This requirement demonstrates to the global research community that Ireland is committed to progressing the gender equality agenda in all areas of academia.

“Research and innovation is an essential and integral part of the work at third level, and vital for the growth and prosperity of our economy and society. I am proud that our international reputation as a leader in research and innovation will also include gender equality at the heart of funding requirement.

“My department is currently consulting on the new National Research and Innovation Strategy for the next seven years. This will be an opportunity to ensure that progress in gender equality in research is strengthened and embedded across the system and fully integrated into research practices.”

Commenting on the day, Julie Byrne, Global Head of Nokia Bell Labs External Collaboration Programs and Chair of the Creating Our Future advisory forum, said:

“STEM plays a critical role in all of our daily lives. The pace of innovation is accelerating and innovation is happening more and more at the intersection of disciplines where the cross-pollination of diverse perspectives and ideas happens. We need to encourage more women and girls to experience a variety of STEM-related fields and we need to build the links between STEM and other research disciplines across the arts, humanities and social sciences. Last year through Creating Our Future we reached out to everyone across the country to gather ideas for all areas of research, with over 18,000 submissions it demonstrated the amazing level of interest in research in Ireland.” is Ireland’s largest part-time course finder database, with thousands of part-time courses, evening, morning and weekend classes and adult education courses to choose from. You’ll find your perfect course on

Steven Galvin

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