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March 9, 2018

Women’s contributions in science are extraordinary in Pakistan


March 9, 2018

Our correspondent

Islamabad: Despite challenges at the multiple levels, women’s contributions in science and technology are extraordinary in Pakistan.

This acknowledgment was made at science lecture ‘Women in Science’ by Charge de’ Affairs, EU Delegation to Pakistan Anne Marchal. The event was organised by Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) in collaboration with EU Delegation to Pakistan and Ministry of Science and Technology on Wednesday to commemorate International Women’s Day (IWD). The activity was aimed at highlighting the achievements of women scientists.

The participants were informed that women make 48.5 per cent population of the country whereas their total contribution in research is 48.3 per cent in medical and health disciplines, 45.5 per cent in Humanitarian and Arts, 42.7 per cent in Natural Sciences, 22 per cent in Engineering, and only 11 per cent in agriculture subjects. The speakers stressed the need to motivate, guide, mentor and establish mechanism to connect them with opportunities.

“Women have much potential to work in the field of science and technology,” said chief guest Federal Secretary Ministry of Science and Technology Yasmin Masood. The federal secretary said that the EU Programme has helped Pakistan in joint scientific research work and called upon women scientists to get maximum benefit out of this international research funding. She said EU programmes would help in gender parity in Pakistan.

Charge de’ Affairs, EU Delegation to Pakistan Anne Marchal, in her lecture, spoke at length about EU programmes in Pakistan, especially EU Programme Horizon 2020 and called upon Pakistan women scientists to send maximum joint research projects’ proposals. She also highlighted the achievements of Nobel Laureate Swiss-French Scientist Madam Curie.

Executive Director, The Institute of Orange Grove Farm Dr. Amina Khan and Chairperson Biological Sciences Department, Quaid-i-Azam University Professor Dr. Bushra Mirza, in their talks highlighted the achievements of Nobel Laureates and stressed the women to take positive motivational steps including accepting challenges to achieve the goals of gender parity. They said achieving goals is an ongoing process.

Professor, Department of Bio-Chemistry, Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad, Dr. Bushra Mirza, who is also awarded with IESCO Women Science Chair, opined that lack of support from academic institutions, networking, confidence and biased attitudes are the major hurdles in the way of women to shine in their fields.

Chairman Pakistan Science Foundation, Major (r) Qaisar Majeed Maik in his welcome address said that all science and technology organizations working under the Ministry of Science and Technology are providing equal opportunity to all qualified men and women. He said Pakistan has a growing pool of female scientists and engineers.

“Recently, Pakistan Science Foundation has taken an advance by announcing Science Talent Farming Scheme for students of Intermediate level wherein it has been ensured that the participation of girls and boys from under developed regions is preserved without any gender discriminations,” he said.

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