On 22 December 2015, the UN General Assembly established the UNESCO-sponsored International Day of Women and Girls in Science on 11 February to recognize and remember the fundamental contribution that women and girls play in science and technological development in general.
Why celebrating this day? The answer is quite simple and immediate, because today less than 30% of women are directly involved in science, so through this day the spotlight can turn on the precious contribution that women also offer in the scientific field and encourage the new generation of female scientists to face the challenges of a scientific career, and give their contribution to try and solve the various problems of our time through their knowledge and commitment.
Women have always had to fight in order to obtain credibility and opportunities in a male dominated workplace: even though there is a lot of talk on gender equality, the female percentage is still quite low, especially in some fields, such as the scientific one. There have been and there are illustrious women who, throughout their lives and experiences have provided important and decisive contributions to human knowledge; among the many we proudly remember Rita Levi Montalcini, Margherita Hack and Samantha Cristoforetti, just to name a few to whom our country has given birth.
Women who have shown that science needs a female head and hand to work together with male colleagues in order to face and solve many challenges which still appear impossible, since often things need to be observed from a different point of view, with the perspicacity and critical eye that distinguishes the female universe.
“The difference between man and woman is epigenetic, environmental. The brain capital is the same: in one case it was historically repressed, in the other extensively encouraged. The same happened among peoples. It is always a cultural fact.” (Rita Levi Montalcini)