25.06.2012 - Natural Sciences Sector

Fostering Women’s contribution to the advancement of science for sustainable development

© UNESCO Panel, Women in Science for Sustainable Development, Rio de Janeiro

Leading women scientists stressed the crucial role that women scientists could play in sustainable development during the Rio+20 negotiations.

This side event included a roundtable discussion on this issue, with several leading women scientists sharing information and experience about their work and career development. These included three UNESCO-L’Oreal Laureates (from India, Mauritius and Brazil), as well as a Brazilian fellow and representatives from key international and regional networks actively contributing to women’s involvement in Science. The discussion was facilitated by a journalist specialized in science and environmental issues.
Sonia Bahri, from UNESCO said that science combined with gender equality could help achieve Millennium Development Goals. “If sustainable development needs science – and we can all agree on that – science needs women – maybe this has not been highlighted enough these three days,” Bahri said.

The side event stimulated discussions on the role of scientific women in contributing to viable solutions for human wellbeing, social inclusion and environmental sustainability. After the projection of a video on L’Oreal/UNESCO Awards, as an example of a successful Global Public/Private initiative to promote scientific women and encourage young women to choose scientific careers, discussion was held on the importance of combating gender discriminatory stereotypes regarding science and the contribution of women researchers to sustainable development.

The meeting was attended by about 200 persons including policy-makers, NGOs, representatives of the private sectors, professors and students. It took place during the Forum on Science and Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro on 13 June 2012.

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