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UN chief: Help girls realize their dreams

  • Published at 07:46 pm February 10th, 2019
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File photo of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres AFP

The UN chief said skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) drive innovations

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has said the world must do more to change workplace culture so that girls who dream of being scientists, engineers and mathematicians can enjoy fulfilling careers in those fields.

"Let's ensure that every girl, everywhere, has the opportunity to realize her dreams, grow into her power and contribute to a sustainable future for all," Guterres said in a message ahead of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which is celebrated on February 11.

The UN chief said skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) drive innovations, and are critical to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). "Women and girls are vital in all these areas. Yet, they remain woefully under-represented."

He said gender stereotypes, a lack of visible role models, and unsupportive, or even hostile, policies and environment can keep them from pursuing STEM careers.

Guterres said the world cannot afford to miss out on the contributions of half its population. "We need concerted efforts to overcome these obstacles."

He said the world must tackle misconceptions about girls' abilities, and must promote access to learning opportunities for girls and women, particularly in rural areas.