International Day of Women and Girls in Science

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When is International Day of Women and Girls in Science Observed?

11th of February is celebrated around the world as International Day of Women and Girls in Science.

International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The idea of dedicating a day in the year for women of such exception was created during the first World Women’s Health and Development Forum, which was organized by RASIT with the collaboration of the Government, UNESCO, UN-women, WHO, UNICEF, UNRWA, UNFPA, EWECI, etc. and was held at the UN HQ on 10-11 February 2015. Most of the speakers at the forum were in fact “Women in science”.

Why is This Day Celebrated?

This day exists and is celebrated with the sole purpose of encouraging girls and women to take action and pursue their dreams in science, technology, engineering, and math education. To seek opportunities for careers in this areas and long-term professional advancement.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) organized a day-long conference on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science at UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The event celebrated the contributions that women have made to science throughout history. Since then, the International Day of Women and Girls in Science has been held every year on the same day.

The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry LOGO

It is very important to achieve gender equality in fields and areas of science and technology. For the past 15 years, the global community has made a tremendous effort to inspire and engage women to be part of the science world.

It is our obligation to face the stereotypes, the social, racial and cultural restrictions, to give access to education and research funding, to encourage and give strength to women to reach their true full potential in science careers.

The Manifest of UNESCO in collaboration with the L’Oreal Foundation, which was launched last year, “For Women in Science” speaks for promoting the full participation of women and girls in science.

Here are some marvelous science women in history to inspire you:

Rosalind Franklin was a biophysicist and X-Ray crystallographer, and part of the DNA discovery team. The Dark Lady of DNA” is an authoritative and engrossing story of the brilliant x-ray crystallographer whose data was key to deciphering the double helix.

The drama has been augmented by the controversy that still rages over who really deserves credit for the discovery, but Watson (Honest Jim) and Crick (The Double Helix) need not stand on ceremony. They’ve already got there first. A little more than a year after their third attempt at writing up the structure, their paper was published in Nature, and its announcement made headline news and sparked a Nobel Prize.

Sally Ride – The first American woman to go to space. The 1983 NASA STS-7 mission was a success, with all systems on the craft operating nominally. The vessel orbited Earth 126 times over six days and the crew performed several scientific experiments on board.

American astronauts Crippen, Thagard, Ride, and Sullivan became international heroes for their part in the operation of the vessel. Sally Ride would continue to be involved with NASA through various projects until her untimely death in 2012 at age 61 due to pancreatic cancer.

Irène Joliot-Curie – Daughter of Marie Curie, winner of the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1935 for her discovery of “artificial radioactivity” that helped pave the way for modern nuclear physics.

Ada Lovelace – Created algorithms for Charles Babbage’s early computer, the Analytical Machine. Ada Lovelace, a woman whose accomplishments in the early 1800s stand out in her field, but even more so considering that she was doing it at a time when women were not supposed to know about such subjects.

Her work in mathematics and science, specifically in an area called “analytics,” has led many to believe she is the true progenitor of the computer age.

Ada Lovelace

Elizabeth Blackwell – The first woman ever to earn a medical degree in the US.

Mae Jemison – The first African-American woman to be part of a space mission in 1992.

Caroline Herschel – The first woman to discover a comet. She discovered seven more during her lifetime. Born on July 16, 1750, she was a German astronomer. She was the oldest sister of astronomer William Herschel with whom she discovered several comets and in whose observations of the planet Uranus she played a significant role.

Never stop believing in yourself! Be a woman in science and be excellent at what you do!