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[Woman in the spotlight] Nisreen Al-Hashemite and the International Day of Women and Girls in Science

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On this International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we put Nisreen Al-Hashemite, a Iraqi princess who dedicated her life to science, in the spotlight. 

“We need to encourage girls and young women to pursue science and stay in science careers”, those are the words of Nisreen El-Hashemite, founder and president of Women in Science International League, and the Executive Director of the Royal Academy of Science International Trust (RASIT). The “Science Princess”, who is a member of the royal family of Iraq, holds a PhD in Human Genetics and a Medical Doctorate. When everyone told her that “science is not for royalty”, she persevered nevertheless. The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which will take place on February 11, was created in 2015 when the General Assembly decided to recognize women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The idea was to focus on gender equality, to ensure that girls can benefit from an education and increase the possibility for women to work in the field of STEM. Nisreen El-Hashemite is indeed a great example, she advocates for gender equality in science, encourages young girls and women to pursue in this field. Her non-governmental organization RASIT is committed to sustaining future and to promoting excellence in education and science. Moreover, RASIT works with UN Women and other international organizations. RASIT launched a specific program dedicated to women and girls called “Science Princess, Global Campaign for Women and Girls in Science”. Science Princess celebrates the achievement of women who have forged the way for those of us in science today, to reach equality and parity in science. According to UNESCO data, less than 30% of researchers worldwide are women. This number is due to strong stereotypes that take women and girls away from science-related fields. Talking about girls and women in the field of science leads us to bridge the gender gap to achieve sustainable development such as improving health or combatting climate change. The main goal is to see more women becoming scientist and help make the world sustainable. Indeed, having more women or young girls in scientific fields and research could speed things up. As Princess Nisreen said “Science is the basis for many solutions to the world’s challenges. If women aren’t a part of science, technology, engineering or mathematics, they will be left out. Science and technology are the future and the future belongs to everyone”.
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Woman in the spotlight

Women and science

Women and Society

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