On 11th February, let’s celebrate women who have made contributions in their pursuit of scientific knowledge. Other women has, of course, contributed in other ways such as technological advancements, engineering developments and mathematical research. Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) are usually, more often than not, subjects which are of interest to boys more than girls. However, times are changing and girls around the world should be encouraged to pursue these subjects without any prejudice. Here are some role models which the young can look up to and emulate: 

1. Norah Magero (Mechanical Engineer and Renewable Energy Expert from Kenya)

According to UNWOMEN.org, she realised the state of the girls back home was dire because of the lack of education. Girls were dropping out of school left and right and had to face challenges which forces them to leave school. Norah Magero showed society what girls can do if they complete their education by winning the Royal Academy of Engineering’s 2022 Africa Prize. She had come up with Vaccibox which is a small, mobile, solar-powered fridge that safely stores and transports medicines like vaccines. Hope her achievement enables parents to let their girls innovate freely and creatively because they might just be the reason why a community of people can benefit and live more comfortably. 

2. Dr. Aiymgul Kerimray (Environmentalist and Senior Researcher at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University in Almaty, Kazakhstan)

With her 9 years of experience in conducting research on the various aspects of energy and the environment, she is making the lives of women staying at home better by informing them of the options to cook with cleaner fuel and how it would reduce cooking time and have a positive impact on theirs and their children’s health. She feels inspired to continue her work when she knows that many people have been paying attention to her research and the papers that she has published. This shows that we have to keep supporting our women by appreciating their work so that they can keep up their morale in a male-dominated industry. 

3. Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka (Uganda’s first wildlife veterinarian and conservation biologist, Founder and CEO of the Conservation Through Public Health NGO)

Our third role model was the 2021 United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Champion of the Earth in Science and Innovation which shows that she is not someone to be messed with. She started becoming involved with conservation and the environment when she set up a wildlife club in high school. So, youngsters in school should have no excuses when it comes to pursuing goals and serving people or animals because time waits for no one. She helps women farmers by paying them more for their coffee and promoted family planning to a community living around a park to ensure their families are manageable and they don’t have to “poach when their children are sick.” 

“Empowering women spurs productivity and economic growth.” As can be seen, by the three individuals mentioned, girls and women pursuing STEM will only make the world a better place for the living. There are many branches of STEM and girls and women can choose a topic that is close to their heart and stop for no one when it comes to doing the best for society as a whole. May the future generations allow for more women and girls to participate and thrive in STEM and happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science to those females today who are already contributing and succeeding in their own fields. 

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