February 11 is an important date for the women and girls because this day is celebrated as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The aim behind this is to empower women in the field of science and technology. The theme of the 2020 International Day of Women and Girls in Science is ‘Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth.’
Here is why the International Day of Women and Girls in Science is important.
To narrow the gender gap
The day focuses to narrowing the gender gap between boys and girls in the expansion of scientific research for the achievement of internationally agreed development goals along with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, prolonged negligence of women and girls have kept them behind in science and its related fields. As per the report of the UN Scientific Education and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), the global percentage of women in scientific research is less than 30 per cent.
The low percentage of women in science
Overall, the enrolment of female students in science stream is meagre all over the world, in Information Technology – 3%, natural science, mathematics and statistics – (5%). At the same time, the involvement of girls and women are just 8% in engineering, manufacturing and construction segments. The need of the hour is to develop scientific temperament in girls and women and encourage them to concentrate on science and excel in it for a bright future as well.
The effort to raise science tempo in girls
It is undeniable that women and girls can play a critical role in science and technology; their participation needs to be strengthened. Over the last 15 years, the global community has come forward and made plenty of efforts to inspire women and girls to go for science. In spite of this effort, the participation of women and girls are not satisfactory in the field of science.
Madame Curie, a role model
For centuries, the representation of women and girls was almost nothing. Credit must be given to Marie Curie who acknowledged the challenge of science and won the Nobel prize twice in two different subjects first in 1903 in Physics and then she achieved the same distinction in 1911 but this time in Chemistry. Her scientific achievement had inspired the female worldwide to adopt science because women and girls can stand shoulder to shoulder with men in science.
Countless women followed the footsteps of Curies and pursued their career in science and engineering. They have been working to achieve a scientific breakthrough and social progress. These women made the breakthrough in scientific knowledge as well as gender barriers and motivated women to pursue careers in science.
Need scientific awareness
The day February 11 has provided a rhythm to women to shine in the field of science and technology. However, some women have done extraordinarily in science and technology, which is an encouraging sign but not satisfactory. The need is to spread the awareness of scientific temperament among the poor girls and women. Focus on the grassroots level, especially in the rural area, is important to strengthen the percentage of women in science and technology.
India set to make temper in girls
India is not behind in raising the scientific temper in women and girls. SAP Labs India was declared as the best workplaces for women by the Great Place to Work Institute. At present, in rural India, girls and women are struggling for access to scientific education. SAP has finalised a programme in India that will help girls and women to get access to education and IT skill programmes.
It is the duty for all to empower girls and women in all segments. The involvement of girls and women in science and technology is still not up to the mark. Time has come to promote women to study science and aid them in excelling in it.