Utter the word science and a storm of names will keep whirling around your brain. Names like Albert Einstein, Isaac Newton, Michael Faraday, JJ Thomson, JC Bose, CV Raman, the list goes on. Now rewind those few seconds of “brain storming” and think, how many names were those of a women scientists? Not even a single. The world has evolved in such a way that one is incapable of associating women with the word “science” unless the word has been laced with “home”.
I am sure you ain’t wondering what the reasons could be as you are well aware of them already. Social obligations, lack of freedom, eventual lack of self confidence and analytical abilities and what not. Since childhood girls are not given enough space to explore their academic interests which leads to them lacking confidence to pursue science for it has already been tagged as “complicated”.
Even if few of them choose to row their boats upstream, they encounter different kind of obstacles. These are the issues that probably don’t even need a survey to support. Their veridicality is experienced by millions on a regular basis. By the time a girl gets through her college and thinks of pursuing postdoc there are fine chances that she is being pestered by the society (which begins with her parents but doesn’t end anywhere) to get settled which implies getting married. I know at least ten women who had to give up their scientific career because they had to get “settled”. In Indian culture, a girl isn’t settled if she is not married. Once she is married, she is settled even if she doesn’t have a career. The culture that we follow is mindless rather than mind boggling. In the modern world, it is good to be weird but in a little acceptable way. But the gender culture across the world is just grossly weird.
Science is an emotion, an emotion that is felt by a person irrespective of the gender, an emotion that one would like to nurture. To all the women out there struggling for a grant, a lab space, assistance and all that you think could help you to be a part of the scientific world, there is one question, do you think the struggle would have been easier, had you been a man?
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