ISLAMABAD:International Day of Women and Girls in Science marked across the globe on February 11 (Monday) is a reminder for all the countries to expedite efforts for ensuring women and girls’ participation in science through removing the obstacles hindering them to showcase their inner abilities in this male dominated field.
Women have been rendering remarkable services in every field of life however despite having immense capabilities, their reluctance to join the field of science puts question on the education system, which is unable to facilitate their participation in this field. At present, less than 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women.
According to UNESCO data (2014 – 2016), only around 30 per cent of all female students select STEM-related fields in higher education.
Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) (three per cent), natural science, mathematics and statistics (five per cent) and in engineering, manufacturing and construction (eight per cent).
Long-standing biases and gender stereotypes are steering girls and women away from science related fields. As in the real world, the world on screen reflects similar biases-the 2015 Gender Bias Without Borders study by the Geena Davis Institute showed that of the onscreen characters with an identifiable STEM job, only 12 per cent were women.
Talking to reporter, Dr Mohammad Aslam Tahir who is an expert and currently Chairman of Pakistan Council for Research in Water Resources (PCRWR) was of the view that no doubt Pakistani women have been contributing in all fields of life side by side with their male counterparts.
He said that they always find the names of girls in toppers of different exams as well at the merit lists of medical and engineering, which is an encouraging trend. “We have to ensure their participation in not only pursuing studies in such fields, but also in adoption of these fields as professional career by facilitating them more.
Hopefully, we will see a large number of women as scientists and experts in this field just like their participation in other fields.
The theme of this year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2019 was “Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth”.
Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Over the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Yet women and girls continue to be excluded from participating fully in science.
The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/70/212 declaring February 11 as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.