The IUPAP International Conference on Women in Physics was held in Paris, France, from March 7 to March 9, 2002.

The primary purpose of the International Conference on Women in Physics was to understand the severe under-representation of women worldwide and to develop strategies to increase their participation in physics. The conference will serve as an initial focal point for ongoing activities to implement these strategies. It is the first international conference to be held on this topic.

It is widely acknowledged that the global scientific workforce is under-utilizing a large percentage of the available talent pool. Although the situation differs widely from country to country, there is a remarkable consistency in one sobering pattern: the percentage of women in physics, physical science and engineering in all countries decreases markedly with each step up the academic ladder and with each level of promotion in industrial and government laboratories.

In addition to organizing the conference, the IUPAP Working Group on Women in Physics did an international benchmarking study on issues concerning women in physics. Demographic information on education and career attainment was collected from countries in all parts of the world and was analyzed by professional statisticians. This material and the results of the discussions at the conference were published in the proceedigns, and are available freely at internet.

The site of the IUPAP Conference : Women on Physics was at Maison de l'UNESCO at 7, place de Fontenoy, 75007, Paris, 07 SP France