Women and Science


23 year old Hansi Devi repairs a solar lantern at the Barefoot College, Tilonia, Rajasthan, India ©Peter Coles.gif

All over the world, scientific and technological training is too often just not available to women, including informal training. Less women than men have scientific careers and when they do, professional progress is slower. Women rarely hold high-level scientific decisional posts.


From the beginning, UNESCO has worked to  "advance the ideal of equality of educational opportunity without regard to race, sex.."  (UNESCO's Constitution, Article 2 (b), 1945). The Organization’s programme to promote women in science and technology is an ongoing part of the ideal.

Contact Renée Clair  r.clair@unesco.org 

Not to be used: women, gender issues, science, technology, basic sciences, prizes, grants


NewsThe 10th annual L’OREAL-UNESCO Awards For Women in Science 20-11-2007 3:35 pm UNESCO
Five distinguished women researchers in the life sciences were named on October 5th 2007 as recipients of the 10th annual L’OREAL-UNESCO Awards For Women in Science.
NewsUNESCO National Commissions meet with L'OREAL representatives 26-10-2007 10:45 am UNESCO
Representatives of UNESCO's National Commissions meet with L'OREAL representatives on 22 October 2007 at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, to discuss their important role in the UNESCO-L'OREAL partnership "For Women in Science".
News2008 UNESCO/L’ORÉAL Fellowships for Young Women in Life Sciences 31-08-2007 12:50 pm L'OREAL & UNESCO
L’OREAL has generously agreed to renew its financing of fifteen fellowships for young women scientists who are carrying out research in the life sciences. Fellowship applications should reach UNESCO before 14 September 2007.
NewsFive outstanding women scientists receive L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science 2007 22-02-2007 3:00 pm UNESCOPRESS
The five women scientists, one from each continent and all physicists or chemists, to receive the 9th L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science are: Prof. Ameenah GURIB-FAKIM (Mauritius), Prof. Ligia GARGALLO (Chili), Prof. Mildred DRESSELHAUS (United States), Prof. Margaret BRIMBLE (New Zealand) and Prof. Tatiana BIRSHTEIN (Russia).
NewsFifteen young women researchers receive UNESCO-L’ORÉAL 2007 International Fellowships for Women in Science 21-02-2007 10:00 am UNESCOPRESS
Fifteen young researchers in the life sciences, originating from all five continents, received at UNESCO Headquarters the UNESCO- L’ORÉAL International Fellowships for Women in Science, Awarded annually since 2000, the fellowships allow post-doctoral students to pursue their research in a host laboratory located outside their country of origin.
NewsCeremony for L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science 2007 13-02-2007 2:00 pm UNESCOPRESS
Five outstanding women scientists, one from each continent, will be rewarded on 22 February for the exceptional quality of their research. Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and Lindsay Owen-Jones, Chairman and CEO of L’ORÉAL, will present the 2007 L’ORÉAL-UNESCO Awards for Women in Science in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters (Room I, 7-9.30 p.m.).
News2007 « For Women in Science» week 29-01-2007 10:00 am UNESCO
The 2007 ‘For Women in Science’ week is organized by L’OREAL and UNESCO and will take place 19 to 22 February 07, UNESCO HQ, Paris, France.
NewsInternational meeting: “Re-Engineering Development: Engendering ICTs” 15-11-2006 1:00 pm UNESCO
The "Re-Engineering Development: Engendering ICTs” meeting, UNESCO, Paris 13-14 November, 2006, launched efforts by global leaders and practitioners to increase women's participation in ICTs: from engineering and software to leadership.
NewsUNESCO Chair Morocco 2006-2007 activities 31-10-2006 10:00 am UNESCO
The UNESCO Chair "Water, Women and Decision-making", created in April 2006 at the Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane, Morocco, has already organized several activities for the benefit of local communities during 2006, including an information day 'Water, Education and Health" at Dayet Ifrah, and proposes others for 2007.
NewsCall for Candidates: UNESCO/L’ORÉAL Co-Sponsored Fellowships (2007) for Young Women in Life Sciences 04-09-2006 7:00 am UNESCO
Deadline for submission of Application Forms: 15 September 2006.
NewsCreation of UNESCO Chairs' Network : « Women, Science, Technology and Development » 21-07-2006 8:00 am UNESCO
Within the framework of the 8th International Water Symposium, 27-30 June 2006, Cannes, France, UNESCO invited the representatives of eight UNESCO Chairs dedicated to the promotion of women in science and technology; areas where they are still a minority and seldom involved in decision-making.
NewsNetworking scientific knowledge for women in South Asia 22-06-2006 3:00 pm UNESCO
The 3rd meeting of the Sub-Regional Network of Non-Formal Scientific Education and Popularization of Science took place in Islamabad (Pakistan) 10-12 April 2006. As well as network representatives, fifteen Pakistani NGO’s participated.
NewsGirls and science: a training module on motivating girls to embark on science and technology careers 07-06-2006 12:55 pm UNESCO
The overall aim of this new module is to help reduce gender disparities in the field of science and technology in Africa as well as to provide women with the possibility of embarking upon science careers in the quest of self-dependence and poverty reduction.
NewsEmpowering Women through Science in South Asia 09-03-2006 11:00 am UNESCO
Within the framework of “Breaking the Poverty Cycle of Women in South Asia”, the 3rd Workshop of the Specialists Network to popularize science will take place from 10 to 12 April 2006, Islamabad, Pakistan.
News2006 L'OREAL-UNESCO life sciences prize and fellowship winners 02-03-2006 11:00 am UNESCO
At the 8th L'OREAL-UNESCO prize-winning ceremony, which took place 2nd March 2006, UNESCO, Paris, the five laurates were: Habiba Bouhamed Chaabouni, Tunisia; Jennifer Graves, Australia; Christine van Broeckhoven, Belgium; Esther Orozco, Mexico and Pamela Bjorkman, USA. Fifteen two-year fellowships were also awarded.
NewsUNESCO Chairs: Women, science, technology and water 27-02-2006 9:00 am UNESCO
The meeting of the representatives of the seven UNESCO Chairs “women, science, technology and water” will take place within the framework of 8th Internationals Water Symposium, 26-30 June 2006, Cannes, France,
NewsUNESCO-L’OREAL's 2006 “Week for Women” 23-02-2006 1:55 pm UNESCO
The UNESCO-L’OREAL prize-giving ceremonies will take place at UNESCO HQ, Paris during the week 27 February-4 March 2006. Prizes and fellowships awarded aim to promote women’s participation in scientific research and especially in decision-making posts.
NewsOutstanding scientist Jane Goodall awarded UNESCO medal 18-01-2006 12:00 pm UNESCO
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura awarded UNESCO’s 60th Anniversary Medal to Jane Goodall, the British-born primatologist, on Tuesday 17 January, at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris in recognition of Ms Goodall’s lifelong dedication to the preservation of Africa’s endangered apes.
NewsOverview of UNESCO’s activities for the advancement of scientific knowledge 04-11-2005 2:00 pm UNESCO
On 2nd November 05 at UNESCO HQ, Paris, science colleagues had the opportunity to present, during 60 minutes, their activities promoting the advancement of scientific knowledge. The event’s report gives a broad overview of the Organization’s actions within the field of basic science, the necessity to promote scientific research world wide and women’s access to same.


ProjectsBreaking the Poverty Cycle of Women: Empowering Adolescent Girls to Become Agents of Social Transformation in South Asia UNESCO
More than a bilion people, the majority of whom are women, live in extreme poverty. Gender discrimination deprives women of the mainstream development initiatives.
ProjectsManaging drinking water in the Côte d'Ivoire
An Improved Village Hydraulic (IVH) system run by leading rural women will ensures permanent drinking water availability in rural areas.
ProjectsNetwork: Women, Science, Technology and Development
Country by country information on the Network: Women, Science, Technology and Development created in 2006 and which, at present, brings together seven UNESCO Chairs.
ProjectsPresentation of UNESCO Chairs Network "Women, Science, Technology and Development"
The Chairs participating in this Network pool expertise in science, technology, development, water management and a gender equality objective. They establish among themselves a relationship of cooperation and solidarity.


ArticlesTapping at the glass ceiling: a history of Women, Natural Sciences and UNESCO
“UNESCO’s Charter indicated clearly that the new organization proposed to contribute to the maintenance of peace by strengthening collaboration among nations through education, science and culture. A few lines further on, it is specified that this will be done ‘without distinction of race, sex, language or religion’.
ArticlesWomen researchers absent from highest rungs of the profession
Even if they are far from reaching parity with their males colleagues, more females than ever are researchers. But they remain largely absent from the highest rungs of the profession and must often make difficult choices between professional career and private life.


Events2006 L'OREAL-UNESCO Award and Fellowship Winners 01-03-2006 9:00 am L'OREAL-UNESCO
The 8th L'OREAL-UNESCO prize-winning ceremony took place 2nd March 2006, UNESCO, Paris. Awards of 100 000 US dollars were given to five outstanding life-science women laureates, one from each region of the world. Fifteen two-year fellowships were also awarded.

© 2007 - UNESCO