February 11 is the day to recognize the achievements of women and girls in science and to raise awareness of the importance of giving girls equal access to scientific careers.
In the past, it was almost a foreign concept for women to be in science, but recently women have made great strides in science, paving the way for dreamers to follow the path they have laid out.
Women in science have made groundbreaking discoveries that have helped solve global and local problems, and this has proven that it is beneficial for a nation to have women in science.
Yes, they have made strides in making science accessible to women, but that should not blind us to the fact that there are still some barriers that prevent girls from fully pursuing science. The most pressing problem is the lack of basic education for girls. There is not enough information to help them develop a passion for science and pursue it until they reach a high level of competence in science.
Most of these girls would have only broken through in science if they had seen a future in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and maths) subjects, but they never get that chance, and even when they do, they are usually discouraged by the uncooperative nature of those they look up to, who discourage them from pursuing such an arduous path.
We can help these girls by showing them role models of women who have made a name for themselves in science, women like.
- Tu Youyou (1930-present): her studies in traditional Chinese and herbal medicine led her team to the discovery of an anti-malarial compound called artemisinin. This discovery has saved the lives of millions of people. She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2015 for her discovery.
- Wangari Maathai: From her biology studies at Mount St. Scholastica College in Atchison, Kansas, to her Master of Science and doctorate. She is the founder of the greenbelt movement. She is arguably the first woman in East and Central Africa to earn a doctorate. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.
In addition to these two women, many others have made their mark in science and started the ball rolling for other girls in science.
On this day, we call on our partners around the world to continue to work to advance this cause.