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Stop negative gender stereotypes related to girls' education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics: UN Chief on International Day of the Girl
"The UN proclaimed International Day of the Girl was observed by the UN system and child rights groups across the world on the 11th October with the theme With Her: A Skilled Girl Force" to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls' empowerment and the fulfillment of their human rights.

This time, a year-long effort has been aimed at by UN to bring together partners and stakeholders to advocate for, and draw attention and investments to, the most pressing needs and opportunities for girls to attain skills for employability.

"On this International Day of the Girl, let us recommit to supporting every girl to develop her skills, enter the workforce on equal terms and reach her full potential," urged the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in his released message while stressing the need for concerted efforts to overcome the obstacles that mean that the women make up less than 30 per cent of graduates in information and communications technology and occupy less than 30 per cent of research and development jobs worldwide.

He added, "Negative gender stereotypes related to girls' education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics begin as early as primary school, and have the devastating effect of making them doubt their own potential."  He stressed the need to equip girls with transferable and lifelong skills such as critical thinking, creativity and digital awareness. Having role models will also be critical, especially in the sciences and other fields where the presence of women is sparse.

He revealed, "On 11 October, International Day of the Girl, we are working alongside all girls to expand existing learning opportunities, chart new pathways and calling on the global community to rethink how to prepare them for a successful transition into the world of work."

The main excerpts from the UN Chief' message are as follows.

- Educated and skilled workers are in great demand, but roughly a quarter of young people – most of them female – are currently neither employed or in education or training.

-600 million adolescent girls are preparing to enter a world of work transformed by innovation and automation. They are the largest generation in history and a vast source of ideas and solutions for all career fields. Yet far too often, girls are not given the space and opportunities they need to achieve their full potential. Multiple barriers include systematic discrimination, biases and lack of training.

-Although the number of girls attending school is the highest ever, many are still not getting the skills necessary for lifelong success. Moreover, it is estimated that five years from now, over one-third of the abilities considered important in today's workforce will have changed.

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