|International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The work of the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT) has focused on sustainable development programs in
education, science, economy, environment and gender equality as well as the support of the marginalized and most vulnerable.
Since 1968, RASIT has been working on Empowering Women in Science through Education, Employment and Recognition. For
example, through its scholarship program, RASIT served and well prepared more than 10,500 female students from developing
countries, and established the First International League for Women in Science in 1998.
Further, in 2015, RASIT brought an international recognition for women and girls in science, and turned a dream into reality. In fact,
in 2015, RASIT started writing the future’s history for Women and Girls in Science.
The idea for an International Day of Women and Girls in Science was generated during the first High-Level World Women's
Health and Development Forum organized by RASIT and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs
(DESA), and held on 10-11 February 2015 at the United Nations Headquarters, with the participation of government Ministers
and representatives, UNESCO, UN-Women, WHO, UNRWA, UNICEF, UNFPA, Every Woman Every Child Initiative, etc. Most
of the distinguished guests and speakers at the Inaugural Forum, whether at ministerial, intergovernmental, diplomatic,
academic or professional levels, were Women in Science.
The Outcome Declaration of the Inaugural World Women’s Health and Development Forum, which the participants
contributed to and approved by acclamation, and presented officially at the Closing Ceremony to the Deputy Executive
Director of UN Women, reflects an ambitious global action agenda and serves as a Road Map for women’s health and
In implementing one of the points of the Inaugural World Women’s Health and Development Forum Declaration, RASIT's
Executive Director HRH Princess Dr Nisreen El-Hashemite wrote a letter on 30 April 2015 to H.E. Mr. Sam Kutesa, President
of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly, requesting on behalf of all participants at the Inaugural World Women’s
Health and Development Forum — governments, intergovernmental organizations, civil society, academic institutions,
professionals, youth and non-governmental organizations, that he kindly take the necessary steps to set in motion the
mechanisms for the UN General Assembly to declare 11 February an International Day for Women in Science.
As soon as we communicated to President Kutesa concerning next steps in creating the foundation for the proposed
International Day of Women in Science, RASIT sought the further counsel of the Office of the President of the General
Assembly, which provided suggestions for consideration of a proper orientation for a way forward.
On Friday, 4 December, a dream became a reality, when the Second
Committee adopted without a vote draft resolution, A/C.2/70/L.4/Rev.1,
proclaiming annually on 11 February a commemoration of the
International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
The next stop for the now-adopted Resolution would be the UN General
Assembly, where the entire formal Membership of the United Nations
would take note of the Resolution.
The Partnership between RASIT and the Government of Malta truly
illustrates how implementation of the SDG 17 could be achieved.
On 22 December 2015, an historic moment was reached in which the
70th Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted
resolution 70/212 at 16.00 (USA EST) proclaiming February 11th
annually the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The
adoption of the resolution was watched by women in science from
around the world.
The sponsorship of more than 68 countries and the approval of all
Member States to the resolution signals the global community's interest
in transforming our world through achieving gender parity in
educational opportunity and scientific participation and preparation.
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RASIT, and in close collaboration and partnership with the Government of the Republic of Malta, sought the leadership of the
Permanent Mission of Malta to the United Nations to facilitate the consultations that would lead to the introduction of a draft resolution
in the Second Committee under Agenda Item 22(b), Globalization and interdependence: science and technology for development.
During October and early November, the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Malta facilitated a series of informal consultations with
Member State delegates for the purpose of perfecting the draft resolution of creating an annual commemoration to be inscribed on
the official UN Calendar of Observances for an International Day for Women and Girls in Science. A representative of RASIT served
as an informal consultant to the Permanent Mission of Malta throughout the consultations.
As informal consultations proceeded, a number of Member States decided to join the list of co-sponsors, with eventually more than
65 Member States supporting the final draft.