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Women and Girls in Science

Women and Girls in Science

In 2019, when I was in eighth grade, I watched a film named “Mission Mangal ”. This film was based on the true events of ISRO’s mission to Mars. I still remember the character played by Vidya Balan- Tara Shinde. The movie started with the scene where a normal housewife did the morning prayer, completed her household chores, made food for her family, and then left for her work at ISRO (India Space Research Organization). That woman for Tara Shinde, who inspired me and I am sure millions of women and girls would have been. Tara Shinde gathered scientists and researchers by herself to succeed in the Mars Mission and make India proud. She brought Home-Science into the ISRO labs and with her intellect, she brought success to ISRO. I was astounded by her profound work. But then, I later realized, we are women- more creative and innovative and know many ways to reach our goals.

She gathered a few female scientists, researchers, and specialists. From what I saw, it was her hard work and quick learning capacity that was able to launch that satellite into space. ISRO accomplished its task with the help of a few women who, besides their profession were simple housewives or tenants. The hardcore unity of these women resulted in a huge success. Women comprise half the population of the world and hence half its potential, and seeing women’s growth in Science and Technology shows the start of their development. I agree that the enrollment of women in Science is really less.

Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT (3 percent), Natural Science, Mathematics and Statistics (5 percent), and in Engineering, Manufacturing, and Construction (8 percent). But now that we are getting proper education and the world feels that women, who have been underpowered for such a long time are now rising. By watching this film, I truly appreciated and acknowledged the potential of just a few women.

With the world proceeding rapidly in science, and as a girl, I feel discontented to watch all the men get their positions in it. Just like Tara Shinde, an ordinary housewife who works as a scientist took the initiative to make sure India’s satellite is launched in space, any woman or girl could do it.  To encourage us more and make us realize our importance, United Nations declared February 11th as International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Launched in 2015, its objective is to raise awareness of, and achieve gender parity in, educational opportunity and scientific participation and preparation for women and girls around the world. Its UN’s goal to increase the number of women in the scientific field to gain the whole potential of humans on this planet.

As the UN note, “significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) discipline all over the world.” The International Day of Women and Girls in Science aims to challenge this, not least because, according to the UN, “gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution not only to the economic development of the world but to progress across all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well.” I always feel proud and gain an unsparing smile when I read that the success of some mission or task was because of women. One or many, it doesn’t matter, but their growth is what really gratifies me. In other powerful countries like the USA, women and girls have good amount of access to science but in countries where people are still under the impression that girls are supposed to spend their lives under a roof serving their family, the growth of women, personal or general, is slow. With the first women to receive the Nobel Prize in Physics, Marie Curie, in 1903, the broadening and acknowledgment of women grew and here we are. From the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova to Andrea M. Ghez, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2020, the list of accomplishments is enormous. Still, behind the progress of men, there is no field where a woman hasn’t achieved success. Name any field and I could tell you that there’s no way that women haven’t triumphed in it.

Slow but steady, women are achieving the position in Science, Technology, and Math and playing a significant role in the scientific growth of the world. Every girl, a woman should take inspiration from the work of these noblewomen and take the initiative. There’s no end in the growth of women and hence we should take advantage of it start being a part of this vivid race of development and growth.

Prisha Kashyap
(February 11th is observed as International Day of Women and Girls in Science)

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