2 July 2013 – Press Release

IFUW, in partnership with UNESCO,

CERN AND ITU, calls for gender balance in sceince and technology.

– Women’s involvement in science and technology is an essential component of economic development –


Geneva, Switzerland, July 2, 2013 — The International Federation of University Women (IFUW) , in partnership with UNESCO, CERN and ITU, today highlighted that women’s equal access to science is crucial to unleash the full potential of science and technology, in a panel discussion held during the ECOSOC High-Level Segment.


In 2009, the world spent about 1.8% of global GDP on scientific research and development. In Africa 34% of the researchers are women. In Europe, one third of researchers are women. About 20 countries have achieved gender parity in distribution of researchers.


Access to primary, secondary and tertiary education is the main path to entice more females into science and technology. Teachers have a great inspirational and mentoring role, as do indeed parents, in encouraging girls to pursue scientific study. This also requires putting into place policies to promote and enhance girls’ and women’s access to science education.


“A shortage of women in science is a missed opportunity of not using 50% of human potential,” said Manjit Dosanjh, International Federation of University Women/CERN. “Education is the basis of economic, social and cultural progress, both individually and at country level. Schools, universities and employers need to entice young people, both men and women, into science, employ them and ensure equitable processes and provide environments that enable everyone to thrive.”


Scientific innovation is a driver of socio-economic advancement and can solve many economic, environmental and health hurdles faced by humankind. In knowledge economies, more equitable decision-making and policy advisory bodies will make the scientific working environments and research focus more inclusive to the challenges faced by women. Giving women access to technology can have life-changing effects on food security and poverty alleviation.


For example, it is estimated that global GDP could be increased by up to USD 18 billion by bringing 600 million additional women and girls online.


The International Federation of University Women (IFUW) is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and has an international membership. Founded in 1919, IFUW is the leading girls’ and women’s global organization run by and for women, advocating for women’s rights, equality and empowerment through access to quality education and training up to the highest levels.



For more information you can contact:

Contact Person:Nina Joyce

Tel: +41 22 731 23 80

Email: nj@gwi.org

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