In a frame International Day of Women and Girls in ScienceThe relevant question arises about what this celebration means and why it is necessary to promote women's participation in the scientific field. Alexandra Garcia, project coordinator at Balance CenDEDiario El Comercio answers everything related to this important anniversary.
What is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science?
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an important date on the global calendar that calls for reflection on the role of women on this fundamental issue.
In this context, Alexandra Garcia, Equilibrium CenDE project coordinator, explained in statements to Diario El Comercio that this anniversary “calls us to remember and reflect on the role that girls and women play and the importance of their participation in various areas of life.” Science, technology, engineering and mathematics, also known as STEM.
“This day allows us to reflect on the gender gaps that still exist and limit the full development of women in these fields. Globally, only one in three researchers is women; in Latin America and the Caribbean, women represent less than 30% From all scientific researchers.
In this sense, Alejandra García highlights that although the forecasts are encouraging compared to previous years, there is still a lot to be done in this regard.
“Despite the progress made over the years, it is necessary to continue strengthening policies that promote and ensure favorable conditions for access and development of women, adolescent girls and boys in STEM fields,” explains the project coordinator at Equilibrium CenDE. It is a non-profit think tank aiming to conduct research and promote debate on topics of social and economic concern in Latin America, and to provide useful, factual, ethical and timely information.
When is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science celebrated?
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated on 11 February every year and is an important date that highlights the importance of equal access and full participation of women and girls in science.
The goal of this celebration, declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, is to promote gender equality in the scientific field.
Since then, this day has become a reminder and call to action to break down the barriers that women and girls face on their path to excellence and leadership in science.
Why is it important to promote women's participation in science?
Various studies show that science represents an opportunity for development, especially if it includes vulnerable groups of the population. This is shared by Alexandra García, who points out that “for girls and adolescents, science represents an opportunity to awaken their interests, develop confidence in their skills and abilities, as well as expand the scope of their personal and professional expectations and aspirations.”
For this reason, various organizations, such as the United Nations, UNESCO, and others, encourage women's participation in this field.
“It is essential that they have access to pioneering women in STEM, who inspire and motivate them to explore their potential in these fields. Connecting with the community of scientists allows them to envision a possible future in STEM and challenge gender stereotypes. Moreover, their participation in these areas not only opens up a world of possibilities, but also generates value for our society by bringing new perspectives, ideas, and solutions.
At what age is it best to integrate women into science?
One of the most frequent doubts when talking about science and women's empowerment revolves around the appropriate age to include and promote this topic in their lives.
According to the project coordinator at Equilibrium CenDE, “There is no basic age for girls’ inclusion in science, but it is necessary to take into account the stage of development they have reached in order to provide them with experiences appropriate to their abilities and interests.”
The specialist, who is a psychiatrist by profession, points out that “it is important to remember that every girl is different and has her own pace of learning. The key is to create a positive, stimulating environment that sparks their curiosity and interest in STEM.
He highlights that “introducing girls at an early age allows them to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, enhance their ability to analyze and create, as well as learn to work as a team and collaborate with others.”
What everyday activities enhance girls' enjoyment of science?
From solving simple problems to exploring natural phenomena, various everyday activities can spark scientific curiosity in little girls.
Whether it's fixing a broken toy, discovering how an electronic device works, or understanding how a natural phenomenon occurs, tackling practical challenges can enhance the critical and creative thinking skills that are essential in the scientific field.
“It is important to emphasize that you do not need to be an expert to encourage a taste for science in girls. “The most important thing is to show them that science is present in everything that surrounds us, even in everyday events inside or outside the home, and that it is a tool that will help them understand the world.” around them,” Garcia says.
To do this, stimulating and positive, highly assertive environments where trust prevails are recommended.
“By creating a positive and stimulating environment, we can help girls develop a passion for science that will accompany them throughout their lives, regardless of whether they later decide to pursue one of these fields professionally or not,” she concludes.