UNESCO is organizing an exhibition to showcase the artistic works by women of science, on the reaction to and fight against the pandemic of Covid-19. The artworks capture both pain and hope and provide a new reading of societies that are slowly emerging from the pandemic.
Exhibit opening soon!
UNESCO’s data shows that only one of three scientific researchers are women, even though they represent between 45-55% of the university students and 44% of those enrolled in PhD programs. Moreover, 26% of women scientists informed and raised awareness among the general public about the COVID-19 pandemic, but only 8% of women scientists participated in coordinating policy responses at an institutional level.
In the current global crisis, both women and men have faced difficulties, yet women have to struggle, additionally, with systemic gender-based inequalities. They remain largely invisible and bear disproportionately the consequences of the crisis, even though they have been at the front line in combating the pandemic. This creates a need for them to be heard and communicate their unique experiences of how their lives and perspectives have been transformed by the pandemic.
For centuries, women have expressed their passion for science through the arts, sharing their analysis, their discoveries, and their ideas through intellectual and creative works.
Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), for instance, was a self taught botanist, ecologist and entomologist before these fields were even defined, and Gertrude Mary Woodward (1854-1939), made paleontological illustrations for the British Natural History Museum in the early 1900s.
The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we interact and live in our societies, and at the same time inspired many women to pursue creative expressions to share their experiences.
Under the theme ‘Transformation’, UNESCO is calling on all women in science from around the world to share their artwork(s) with a global audience.