International Day of Women and Girls in Science
February 11th is the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. There are many reasons to celebrate this day. Women scientists deserve to be recognised for their work and contributions to scientific progress.
As a research project bringing using genetic technologies to fight malaria, on this special day, we’d like to commemorate two women whose discoveries have changed molecular biology and parasitology:
A notable woman in science is Rosalind Franklin, who is best known for discovering the molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite. Using a technique called X-ray crystallography, she revealed the helical shape of DNA.
Noble Prize recipient, Tu YouYou, a pharmaceutical chemist and malariologist, is another notable woman for her discovery of using artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin to treat malaria. Her discovery helped save millions of lives worldwide.
We also celebrate the many women scientists today working on fighting against malaria from heads of states to community leaders.
Although the split between the women and men in the science work field is slowly becoming more even, men still dominate science everywhere:
- The 2020 ‘Women in Science’ factsheet by UNESCO Institute for Statistics reported that only 30% of the world’s researchers were women.
- UCAS data shows only 35% of STEM students in higher education in the UK are women
- The statistics for the UK showed that 38.7% of researchers were women, but this was still low compared to North Macedonia at 53.4%.
- Other Target Malaria countries ranked as follows: Italy 34.4%, Uganda 29.8%, Ghana 26.1% and Burkina Faso 17%.
From studying science in school, to working in many industries, the impact science has on women and girls is all around us. Yet, women are underrepresented in every single field of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
For this year’s International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we celebrate the amazing women working in various areas of Target Malaria.