International Women's Day is an occasion to celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equality and women's empowerment but also to critically reflect on those accomplishments and strive for a greater momentum towards gender equality worldwide. It is a day to recognize the extraordinary acts of women and to stand together, as a united force, to advance gender equality around the world. As the message of Ms. Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, expressed:
"In 2021, as the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic continues to exacerbate all the divisions in our world, particularly those due to gender inequalities, it is more important than ever before that 8 March be a day of unity and mobilization.
First and foremost, educational inequalities have worsened, as exemplified by the 767 million women and girls who were deprived of their studies at the peak of the pandemic. Today, in addition to the 132 million who were already out of school before the crisis, 11 million of them may never return. And, according to a recent study by the International Labour Organization (ILO), job losses worldwide have affected 5% of women, as compared to 3.9% of men.
As the UNESCO Science Report shows, women account for only 33% of researchers worldwide, yet theirs is a key contribution to science. This underrepresentation is evident both in laboratories and in circles of power: only 20 women in the world are heads of State or heads of government, according to UN-Women.
Therefore, UNESCO will continue to support women and girl's rights and access to education, to promote women artists, journalists and researchers. It also insists on the active engagement of men and boys in order to achieve gender equality."
To celebrate this day find more about the women pioneers at the Information and Communication Technologies revolution, from the beginning until the present, through the initiative of some LASIGE researchers at Girls in ICT.