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11 February 2021, KAZAKHSTAN – Today the world celebrates International Day of Women and Girls in Science themed “Women Scientists at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19”. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated the critical role of women researchers in different stages of the fight against COVID-19, from advancing the knowledge on the virus, to developing techniques for testing, and finally to creating the vaccine against the virus.

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 years, 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 – often because of gender stereotypes that discourage them from pursuing a career in certain professions.

“Constituting around 70% of workforce in the health and social sectors globally, women are on the frontline of the response to the pandemic. Therefore, the more is invested in girls’ education to pursue various careers – including those in science – the more benefits we can enjoy as societies, communities and as families, - said UNFPA Representative for Kazakhstan and Country Director for Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan Giulia Vallese.

Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world. To help girls be healthy and empowered, together with а singer, activist and UNFPA Voice KALIYA (Akmarzhan Kusherbayeva) and The Steppe website we launched a project called “Kyz Tagdyry” (Her Future). The project contains a wealth of resources to help equip girls, women and decision-makers with the knowledge and solutions for a more gender-equal world.

“Throughout the centuries scientists have strived to learn more about the world around us, to push the limits of their imagination, and to make a difference in the lives of those around them. Every girl has the potential to do the same and should be given the opportunity to do so,” – said KALIYA.

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For more information, please contact Dina Teltayeva via email or tel.: 8701 7654010.