The ongoing pandemic is proof that our future will be marked by scientific and technological progress that can only be achieved when women and girls are creators, owners and leaders of science, technology and innovation.
In our journey towards response and recovery, Sri Lankan female researchers have been among those pioneering the COVID-19 vaccines. Women played an important role in science even before the pandemic, accounting for nearly half of undergraduate enrolments in science, technology, economics and mathematics (STEM) even back in 2017.
Yet, socio-cultural norms including gender stereotypes continue to hold women back from pursuing careers in STEM. Achieving gender equality in science must mean first recognizing that women and girls can take on any career.
On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, let’s smash stereotypes, change mindsets and defeat discrimination and inequality.
We all have a role to play. Let us invest more in women and girls in science.