Career Has No Gender!
"The world needs science, and science needs women."
This past Sunday marked the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, a day dedicated to breaking down stereotypes, gender biases, and discrimination that hinder women and girls from pursuing careers in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Increasing the representation of women in science is crucial for tackling some of humanity's most pressing challenges. Despite their immense potential, women continue to be underrepresented and struggle to gain recognition for their contributions.
Project EASE in Assam and Project RISE, in Panipat and Karnal, these two initiatives dedicated to empowering women, celebrated this important day in their respective districts.
Project EASE: Breaking Barriers, Creating Innovators
Project EASE organized programs in three villages in the Dhubri region, engaging members of the Girls Club, Mother Club, and SHG Group. Participants immersed themselves in science by creating a range of intriguing projects, from models of Chandrayaan to flower pots and telescopes. Through hands-on activities, they showcased their skills and shattered stereotypes, proving that girls can excel in science.
In collaboration with the Girls Club and Mother Club, participants demonstrated their scientific prowess by crafting items like Chandrayaan, inspiring onlookers and reinforcing the message that gender should never limit one's aspirations.
Meanwhile, participants in another village came together to create scientific items such as wall clocks and rockets. Through speeches and demonstrations, they emphasized the importance of science and celebrated women pioneers like Kalpana Chawla, igniting a sense of pride and determination among attendees.
In yet another village, Project EASE continued its efforts by engaging women in creating scientific materials, including rockets and water filtering systems. These hands-on activities not only fostered a deeper understanding of science but also empowered women to actively participate in technological advancements.
Project RISE: Inspiring Generations, Empowering Women
On the other hand, Project RISE in Panipat organized a program where women learned about the contributions of female trailblazers in science and technology. From Janaki Ammal to Kalpana Chawla, participants were inspired by the stories of these remarkable women and even learned to make LED bulbs themselves—a tangible symbol of their newfound knowledge and skills.
In district Karnal, Project RISE celebrated the International Day of Women and Girls in Science by highlighting the transformative power of science in everyday life. Participants shared personal anecdotes and showcased innovative creations made from recycled materials, reinforcing the message that women and girls belong in every field, including science.
Voices of Inspiration: Women Speak Out
During these celebrations, women shared their thoughts and experiences, highlighting the importance of science in their lives: (Name changed because of privacy reason)
Asha (Name Changed) “In today's time, science has progressed so much that we can easily travel from one country to another by sitting in a ship."
Sakshi ji (Name Changed): "Kalpana Chawla was the daughter of our region who went into space, and all this is the gift of science."
Komal: (Name Changed) “In today's time, women and girls have advanced so much in science that it is evident that women and girls can excel in every field."
Sonia: (Name Changed) "I also made small things like airplanes and boats to show that because of science, we can see these things not just as paper toys but in reality."
These quotes reflect the enthusiasm and insight shared by the women participating in the International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebrations.
Empowering Women in Science; An Urgent Call to Action
Women, in the field of science; Four facts you should be aware of-
1. In 2018 women accounted for more than a quarter of all engineering graduates.
2. 35% of students pursuing STEAM related fields are women.
3. Currently women comprise one third of researchers worldwide.
4. Within the energy sector women represent 32% of the workforce.
While we acknowledge and celebrate the progress made towards achieving gender equality in STEM fields it is important to recognize that there is still work to be done. It is crucial to advocate for policies that support and encourage women and girls to pursue careers in science. Creating environments where they can thrive is equally essential.
Moreover, mentorship programs and support networks play a role in nurturing the generation of female scientists. By offering guidance, encouragement and opportunities for skill development we can empower women and girls to unleash their potential in STEM disciplines.
Let us also challenge norms and expectations that discourage girls from pursuing scientific interests. By promoting role models and highlighting the contributions made by women, in science we can inspire future generations to fearlessly pursue their passions. We can work together to create a future where women and girls are recognized and appreciated as members of the community. They will bring their viewpoints and skills to help address the urgent global issues.
As we reflect on these celebrations, it's clear that the path to gender equality in STEM fields requires collective effort. By dismantling barriers and championing inclusivity, we can create a world where every woman and girl has the opportunity to pursue her passion for science. Let's continue to support initiatives like Project EASE and Project RISE, paving the way for a brighter, more equitable future. After all, when it comes to science, career has no gender!