With the Commonwealth's work to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment, it was great to see our Trustee and Global Health Advisor, Oksana Pyzik, address the United Nations in New York at the third International Day of Women & Girls in Science (#IDWGS2018). Her message emphasises further the need for us to work together to empower women and girls in the workplace, and strive for gender equality.
The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, opened the third Commemoration with a central theme of “Equality and Parity in Science for Peace and Development” which ran from February 8th – 11th. Oksana delivered a speech titled “Advancing Women in Science & Leadership” and in her call to action highlighted the growing gender gap in the areas of income and health: “Given the continued widening of the economic gender gap, it will now not be closed for another 217 years. With further statistics from the International Labour Organization, suggesting that closing the employment gender gap by 25% worldwide would boost global employment by 189 million - raising the global GDP by 3.9% or US $5.8 trillion by 2025, lifting hundreds of millions out of poverty.”
Oksana concluded her speech with these powerful words: “Science has been one of the greatest liberators of women in history, and I believe ‘women in science’ will drive social change to topple the remaining inequalities and in doing so redefine the very nature of leadership itself.”