International Day of Women and Girls in Science
The United Nations (UN) declared 11 February as ‘International Day of Women and Girls in Science’, to ensure full and equal access and participation in science for women and girls. The focus for 2019 is on ‘Investment in Women and Girls in Science for Inclusive Green Growth’.
The resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 22 December, 2015. The idea behind introducing this day was to end bias against women and encourage them to take up science, technology, engineering and mathematics as a career.
A study conducted by UN found that only 18% women graduated with a degree in science as against 37% men. Stereotyping and other psychological factors can end up dissuading girls from taking up science.
Here are some ways to encourage girls to take up science, mathematics, technology and engineering:
Make the subject fun
Math and science can be made fun and engaging when they are taught in the form of an activity. Making a subject fun will make develop the interest and curiosity of the students.
Break the stereotypes about gender and intellect
Girls should be encouraged to push themselves and enjoy what they learn. They should not be stereotyped on the basis of gender or intellectual ability.
Teachers and parents should tell the girls to develop a growth mindset and, they should strongly believe that skills can be changed with effort and time. Teachers and parents at no point must convey that girls are incapable of honing their skills in science/mathematics.
Talk about successful women
Nothing can motivate better than people. The girls can be told about women who have made it big in different fields.
Provide equal opportunities
Teachers must ensure that they provide equal opportunities to all the students in the class. Teachers should also encourage and provide opportunities to students who do not perform well in the class.
Create an environment that promotes science
Teachers and parents must discourage any kind of stereotyping and encourage girls to take up science, engineering, technology and mathematics as a choice to pursue a career. This can be done by creating an environment that promotes the idea of science and motivates the girls to take it up with enthusiasm.
While there have been many women achievers, not all have been given acknowledgement owing to the stereotypes in the society. It is important for teachers and parents to encourage the women and girls around them to achieve their dreams.