30 years after Marie Curie won a Nobel for physics, Kamala Bhagvat, a graduate from Mumbai was turned down by the prestigious Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in the 1930s. She was nothing short of genius, however, the fact that she was a woman and that Nobel laureate CV Raman, the director at the time didn’t think that women belonged in the institution. Although she did persuade him over the years, CV Rama never could swallow the idea of women scientists and even though the Indian scientific fraternity has changed today since then, women aren’t making headlines in the country.
Women’s careers are short-lived due to societal pressures
Global research reveals that women only make up 30 percent of scientific and technological research and this number has more or less remained the same since the year 2008. Back in India, though it has been difficult to pursue the number of women researchers, one study reported in the Time of India stated that women only comprise a total of 14 percent. Moreover, Indian women have a tendency to not take up STEM careers and if they do, their career seems to be short-lived, due to societal pressure of marriage and family.
Turkey and Bulgaria have more women in Science than India
Though India seems to be doing well as an economy, the irony is that as the country grows richer, fewer women are choosing STEM careers because any career appeals to them. On the other hand, conservative countries like Turkey or Algeria have a higher percentage of women in science when compared to India. In the sphere of academics, there are three male authors of research papers for every one female author, even as women constitute only 10 percent in IITs across the country.
Science and technology may become irrelevant in women aren’t involved
Therefore, India can never ever hope to reach the epitome of its scientific potential if there the gender ratio in the fraternity is so highly skewed. Also, if women are not deeply involved in scientific research, science and technology may become irrelevant for half of the population since women are also consumers of the by-products of them, like artificial intelligence, for example. Therefore, to ensure that everyone benefits from research and developments in the field, it is highly necessary that women make their way to STEM careers. Inclusive science is real science.
Image credit: Firstpost