Monday, July 09, 2007

Tapping 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’.

UNESCO’s initial activities meant to ensure the equality of opportunity for women began, basically in terms of education, during the 1950s. This hardly involved the science programme. Then, impelled by several non-governmental organizations, UNESCO participated in 1967 in a first effort; this was in Chile, and concerned the access of girls to scientific and technical careers. The project was supported financially by UNESCO until 1974. During the first thirty years of its existence, however, the results of such efforts were inconclusive. Should one deduce that UNESCO, much in the image of scientific societies of the time, paid little attention to ‘women’s’ issues?.........”

Read the full article by Renée Clair from Sixty Years of Science at UNESCO 1945-2005 (Word Document, 8 pages)

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