By Ranggi R.
Published on February 13, 202
11 February is observed as International Women and Girls in Science Day, an annual observance focused on promoting science and gender equality. The United Nations General Assembly aims to advance women not only in science but also technology, engineering and mathematics, to achieve equal access, contribution and participation in these fields.
International Day of Women and Girls in Science is not just an ordinary day.
What actually happened?
Everyone should be supported to develop and maximize their skills to the fullest, regardless of their sexual identities. However, reality shows the complete opposite. Women are significantly less likely to participate in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Only 28 percent of women are engineering graduates and 40 percent are computer science graduates. Moreover, when we talk about the latest technology innovation, only 1 in 5 artificial intelligence professionals is female.
This proves that women still struggle to have their places and do their job.
COVID-19 has had a huge negative impact on a global scale. Thinking about how many events have been canceled, public venues were shut down, and even major sporting events like the Olympics and UEFA EURO got postponed, the pandemic caused disruption in every aspect.
We know that a pandemic has an inevitable negative impact. Studies found women are more likely to lose their jobs during the pandemic. Surveys conducted showed that women were 44 percent more likely to stop working than men and 62 percent of women more likely to lose their jobs.
However, there are blessings in disguise, during the pandemic. The importance of women’s contribution is one of them.
Ramida Juengpaisal proved that. She created a COVID-19 tracker that gathers all the information regarding the virus and the solution to misinformation by stopping it from spreading.
Also, 70 percent of health and social care workers are women. Starting from treating patients, dealing with viruses, to solving psychological problems due to the impact of the pandemic, they have played a vital role.
COVID-19 was a wake-up call. Gender equality has become more important since then.
So, what now?
Although more women in STEM fields in recent years, women are still underrepresented. Gender biases still exist when it comes to professional matters, unfortunately. It makes certain conditions only exclude females, and will always be that way if we do not take any action.
It is time for everyone to show their hidden potential more. All people are eligible to become the best version of themselves. Especially women, since they are pushing the boundaries every day and work twice as hard as men to be more appreciated in male-dominated fields and sectors.
Because everyone deserves the same chance.