Help girls realise their dreams: UN chief

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Desk Report:

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

“Let’s ensure that every girl, everywhere, has the opportunity to realise her dreams, grow into her power and contribute to a sustainable future for all,” he said in a message marking the International Day of Women and Girls in Science that falls on February 11.

The UN chief said skills in science, technology, engineering and math drive innovation 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 environments can keep them from pursuing these 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 women and girls, particularly in rural areas.unb

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