INTERNATIONAL DAY OF WOMEN AND GIRLS IN SCIENCE
We recently celebrated women and girls in science. On such a day, we come together to not only recognize these professions that have set women apart but also hugely identify the disparities of women in science-related professions. This is the day designated by the United Nations to recognize women and girls in science as agents of change. Every day, they’re overcoming significant gender gaps in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines, and empowering other women and girls to do the same. As per the UN, only 33 percent of researchers are women. Additionally, women researchers are funded less compared to their male counterparts and are also left out in high-profile journals. This means that while women might have the most innovative ideas, their accessibility to funds will still be limited just because they are women. It’s like having this huge roadblock that we are ever pushing hard and yet making two steps backward. We are at the season where we are constantly empowering women to take the wheels and roll while raising awareness on gender parity in science. It has taken literal sweat and tears to get where we are as a global society. But how do we ensure that women in science are embraced more and are given equal opportunities as their male counterparts?
The main message of this year’s theme “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us.” was to create an environment where women and girls can achieve their full potential and become the greatest scientists and innovators. This was specifically meant to bring to light the role of women as the beneficiaries and the agents of change towards expediting SDG6: Clean water and sanitation by 2030. Despite the many efforts to inspire women and girls to venture into science, the gender gap is still a significantly huge problem. This unfortunate trend is also true in climate science, which is concerning since women around the world will bear the brunt of climate change impacts.
The world isn’t just going to thrive with one gender getting the shorter end of the stick, we need women’s perspective to make sure that science and technology work for everyone. Inclusivity is the standard ground of equity and equality of opportunities. The more we deprive women of greater opportunities the more we deprive the world of untapped innovation and talent. Maybe we should all ask ourselves “What’s a world without inclusion and diversity?”