CYG Newsletter, June 2021

We need to Encouraging young girls and women to engage in science technology, engineering and Mathematics that will always be ready to respond to future global emergencies…!

Each era has it’s own struggles. The burden of emerging and reemerging infectious diseases is heavy and growing in today’s world, and the COVID-19 pandemic is the ultimate example of the burden that infectious diseases can cause globally, without exception. All societies need to be prepared from multiple perspectives including infrastructures, equipment, and human resources.

The Corona Virus reminds us that we need more people engaged in preparedness for and response to future outbreaks and pandemics. Women making up a large portion of the world’s population, do not have to be left behind. They need to be engaged in science and technology to be equipped to deal with global challenges.

The role of women in science became more acknowledged in 1903, when Marie Curie became the first women to win a Nobel Prize in Physics, and then went on to win a second Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1911. Curie is one example of countless female scientists and engineers who have helped achieve scientific breakthroughs and social progress.

However, there are still not enough women in the sciences today. Not every girl or women has the opportunity to follow Marie Curie’s footsteps. Data from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) shows that very less than 30 percent of the world’s researchers are women. Research suggests that physicists, chemists, and biologists are likely to view a young male scientist more favorably than a woman with the same qualifications, Whereas the recent efforts and initiatives of the government to bring more girls and women to make career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), showing a bright hope to change scenario and reduce that gender gap in the field of science.

The initiatives known as Consolidation of University Research for Innovation & Excellence in Women Universities (CURIE) and The Knowledge Involvement in Research Advancement through Nurturing (KIRAN) Scheme two out of the several pioneering umbrella initiatives started by the Government of India for promoting women in science. They are the unique advertising schemes to bring young girls and women, as far as possible to reduce gender equality in the field of research in science and technology. In this initiatives the primary focus to provide research grants particularly to those female researchers and technologists who had to take a break in career owing to household reasons and increase the number of women researchers bring about, as far as achievable, gender parity in the field of science and technology in India.

Recently “The International Seminar on Girls' and Education in the Filed of Science” was organized by NITI Ayog, focused on identifying the issues and challenges faced by women in science to pursue higher studies or research.

The Status of Women in Science and Policy Implications a detailed survey report prepared jointly by eight premier University of India in last year. This report has attempted to provide a detailed analysis of the severity of the situation regarding entry and retention of women in science and suggest some measures that might help the Government in making the higher educational sector more compliant to female scientific professionals. It provides a comprehensive view on the current status of women in science, their background and the problems faced by them in pursuing higher studies and research in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

Gender Equality in science and technology is very essential to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The young girl students to be prepare to decide and engage in the field of STEM along with giving them opportunity to interact with female scientists to better understand the role and contributions of women in science for addressing challenging global emergencies because this could help them be more confident in their pursuit of a career in a scientific field.

Our goal is to increase the number of Young Girls and Women in Science year-over-year to 30 percent women by the end of 2030. Last year, STEM Labs India was honored to be named among the Best Workplaces for Women by the Great Place to Work Institute. We have made good progress, but we also realize that creating a great workplace for women is not enough. Not all girls and women have access to education that will allow them to pursue a career in science and technology, particularly those from rural regions. More than ever, there is a need to engage more girls to enter scientific fields with a holistic interdisciplinary approach. We should focus to set-up more platform and programs that help girls and women to get access to education in the field of science and research.

About the author: I am Mohd Vasim from New Delhi, India I am a Research Scholar, Independent Consultant and member of The Comprehensive Nuclear- Test Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO~CYG) Youth Group. I completed six months as Online Volunteer at United Nations and one year as a Peace Ambassador at International Youth Parliament promoting Peace Love and Harmony and defending Human Rights, Justice and Equality.

This piece was contributed for the June 2021 edition of the CYG Newsletter