The theme of the 5th International Day of Women and Girls in Science, was on driving Investment in Equality in Science, Technology and Innovation in the Digitalization Era for Inclusive Green Growth with special focus on Agriculture, Technology and Digital Economy. The commemoration brought together stakeholders from high-level government officials, representatives of international organizations, foundations, private sector, civil society as well as women in science experts from around the world to explore how women in all fields of sciences can accelerate socio-economic sustainable development.
Discussion focused on the interlinkages between gender inequality -specifically in science- digital and technological revolution, and agricultural sector for Sustainable Development. WUN Executive Director Dr Nata Menabde participated in the assembly and highlighted the key role of women and girls in science for health and emphasized on the obstacles women and girls encounter in various levels of health sector – from access to health services, to engagement in health workforce and research. She explained the systematic challenges where women are facing higher health costs than men due to their greater use of health care, as well as the need to extend coverage of health care that deals with the content of benefit packages, to ensure they include a greater range of services for girls and women of all ages. Dr Menabde also shared some conclusions from WHO’s work on nutrition, stressing that gender inequality means girls get less food, are more likely to get sick, and are less likely to be able to attend school, receive an education (including on science) and get a job. However, they are more likely to marry and get pregnant too young, be poorly nourished and have under-nourished babies. In conclusion, she mentioned that healthy women and girls are the cornerstone of healthy societies and proper nutrition is essential to empowering women and girls. Nutrition, through its effect on health and cognitive development, is also vital for academic performance and productivity to ensure healthy economies and socioeconomic development.