Women in Science, torture in Brazil, measles outbreak in Afghanistan... Friday's news

Day of Women and Girls in Science

Women are still only 33% of researchers and, when they start their own companies, they only access 2% of venture capital. They are data from UNESCO on the Day of Women and Girls in Science.

Women make up only a quarter (28%) of engineering master’s graduates and 40% of computer science graduates. Only 22% of professionals working in the field of Artificial Intelligence are women.

Furthermore, they are still minority in technical and leadership positions in technology companies. In the US, the number one reason women give for leaving their tech jobs is feeling undervalued.

In the private sector, less than one in four researchers is a woman and, when they start their own company, they have difficulty accessing funding. in 2019only 2% of venture capital went to start-ups founded by women.

“This glaring disparity not only hampers our ability to find solutions to our common challenges, but also prevents us from building the societies we need,” UNESCO Director Audrey Azoulay and UN Women Director Sima Bahous said in a joint statement.

Brazil must strengthen prevention of torture, say UN experts

Brazil must reinforcer the prevention of torture, UN experts said at the conclusion of their visit to the country, the third with the largest prison population in the world.

“We urge Brazil to abandon its decision to dismantle its national torture prevention mechanism,” said Suzanne Jabbour, who led the three-member delegation that visited the country in early February.

In the next weeks, the Supreme court must decide on the legality of the Presidential Decree of 2019 which severely weakened the system. Under the controversial decree, members of the torture prevention mechanism must work on a voluntary basis, without pay.

“All of the top officials we met with agreed that a well-functioning, independent prevention mechanism at both the federal and state levels is absolutely essential,” Jabbour said.

Rapporteur on judicial independence will visit Bolivia

The special rapporteur on the independence* of magistrates and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, at the invitation of the government, will visit Bolivia from February 15 to 22.

“The objective of my visit is to examine, in a spirit of cooperation and dialogue, the situation of justice in Bolivia, and to be able to contribute to the ongoing reform efforts in the country,” said García-Sayán.

The expert will meet with government officials and legislative authorities, as well as with judges, prosecutors and lawyers. He will also meet with representatives from civil society and academia.

An outbreak of measles leaves at least 156 dead and 35,000 cases in Afghanistan

At least 156 people died of measles in Afghanistan in January, according to data from the World Health Organization that warns of the seriousness of the explosion of cases.

In the month of January there have been reports more than 35,000 cases, 90% of them in children under five years of age.

The WHO spokesman said “the number of cases and deaths is likely to increase in the coming weeks.”

“The increase in cases is particularly worrying given the high levels of malnutrition in Afghanistan. Malnutrition weakens the immune system, and makes us more vulnerable to serious illness and even death, especially children”, explained Christian Lindmeier.

In response to this explosion of cases, the WHO and its partners are mobilizing to immunize three million people. “The campaign will start in May or earlier, if possible,” the WHO spokesman said. In December, a vaccination campaign inoculated 1.5 million children in the areas most affected by measles.

*The special rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN human rights system, is the umbrella name for the Council’s independent investigative and monitoring mechanisms that deal with specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. world. The experts of the Special Procedures work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent of any government or organization and provide their services in their individual capacity.

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