Thursday, November 21, 2019

Women and Science in the southern African Development Region (SADC) Essay

Women and Science in the southern African Development Region (SADC) - Essay Example Then it discusses how UNESCO and SADC are working constantly to promote women of Southern African regions to get educated with scientific knowledge and play a role in scientific development like other women from developed countries. Women and Science in the southern African Development Region (SADC) Previously, it was very firm believe, especially in Asian countries, that women are inferior to men. They have to look after the daily chores while man is the sole earner and he is the one responsible for every major thing. As time evolved, the perception remained same with man now being an executive and women a secretary, or same in every field. The revolution and change of perception took place by the end of 18th century, when women started contributing in medicine, physics, geography and other fields and this period was referred as ‘the enlightment’. When Salon culture in Europe was changing, there were times when political, economical and social views discussed had opinio ns of women too (Sheffield, 2006) Even now that women graduates are more in number than male, the representation of women in business fields and especially scientific fields is very low. There are two reasons for such low representation. First, women already have too much to cater to that they can’t get into fields that need a lot of work and research. Secondly, even if they want to get in, they don’t get decent post. Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She won the similar title, a second noble prize in 1911 for her work on radiation. For those women who don’t follow their passion and end up living the usual lifestyle, she says: â€Å"I have frequently been questioned, especially by women, of how I could reconcile family life with a scientific career. Well, it has not been easy. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.† While Carl Friedrich Gauss, famous for his Gaussian m ethod and other mathematical applications, talks about women not getting reputable posts in scientific field and motivates them by saying: â€Å"The enchanting charms of this sublime science reveal only to those who have the courage to go deeply into it. But when a woman, who because of her sex and our prejudices encounters infinitely more obstacles that a man in familiarizing herself with complicated problems, succeeds nevertheless in surmounting these obstacles and penetrating the most obscure parts of them, without doubt she must have the noblest courage, quite extraordinary talents and superior genius.† (Ogilvie, 2004) Since 18th century, many women have followed their passion in developing and extending the scientific borders. 19th century was an amateur period with few noticeable names while 20th century included significant work by Marie Curie and Lise Meitner (discovery of nuclear fission). There work set basics for further research. Inclusion of women in scientific f ield was further made possible by efforts of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization) and by SADC (Southern African Development Community) which will be discussed below. (Marelene F. Rayner-Canham, 1997). UNESCO's Recommendations about "Women and Science" Although women have excelled in business fields, there still remain many where they are not given equal rights such as aerospace and flying, engineering and scientific research. Science is a field full of ideas and innovation and leaving this highly capable gender behind means losing high potential and ideas that can change the world. Therefore, gender equality and representation of women in scientific field is very important. Although different countries are giving attention to this issue, UNESCO formally organized the World Science Conference in 1999

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