Women in the World of Science!
The position of the female gender has been defined distinctively over centuries of civilization across the globe. The myth in some societies about women being too weak physically and mentally to study science-related fields has held back many women from exploring the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). In addition; these misconceptions and biases passed on from one generation to the next are catalyzed by; parents preventing or discouraging their children and wards from going for the scientific field even if they are steaming with passion. Hence, the gap between what is happening and what should be in women’s STEM space, which can be bridged by gender equality and equity.
Moreover, governmental and non-governmental organizations, both locally and internationally, are now torch bearers of girl-child education and advocates of women going into the world of health and related fields.
This has contributed hugely to the development of nations globally. The global GDP of 5 per cent contributed by women in health validates this. Currently, females who are in the world of research are less than 30 per cent and coincidentally, UNESCO revealed that only approximately 30 per cent of all female students choose fields related to STEM in tertiary institutions. Furthermore, as the unemployment rate of the world steadily increases, the empowerment of women grows in importance and this becomes feasible when more women work in STEM and STEM-related fields.
In addition, the Pew Research Center stated that; the salary of a STEM worker is 66.67 per cent higher than their counterparts in other fields. Therefore, this should bridge the gap of poverty as well; and the complications associated with poverty in our societies to a large extent. According to data from the United States Census Bureau in 2018; averagely, men in STEM earn 19 per cent more than women in STEM. Many women in STEM have experiences, majority of which are discouraging. These include the salary gap and leadership positions being dominated by men. But if the ratio of the girl-children studying the sciences increases; all the gender gaps will be narrowed to a minimum in a few years time and erased in decades to come.
The responsibility of world citizens to increase the percentage of women in the field of science will be lighter if handled with mental dexterity and optimism.
Annually, the same questions are being asked in; conference rooms, workshops, virtual meetings among others on what can be done to change the statistics to the positive meridian. Simply, we should welcome the continuous exposure of the girl-child from childhood to early adulthood. One or more women in STEM need to mentor women. Philanthropists, religious bodies, cultural societies, governmental and non-governmental organizations should give more to the female child in STEM.
In conclusion, the female gender makes a good percentage of the world’s population and if their potentials are not maximised; it will indeed be a great loss to the human race. Women in the world of science should leave the legacy of passing the baton to more women who are climbing the ladder; thereby changing the narrative of “ the higher you go in STEM, the fewer the women”. Putting a stop to all manner of discrimination against the female gender is a basic human right. We believe more women in STEM will make the Sustainable Development goals achievable within a shorter period; thereby creating a better world for all.
Credit: Nigerian Tribune (Fajembola Azeezat)
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