Page 31 - ScienceIndia Magazine March 2021
P. 31

Rising High,
Yet Rooted
in Tradition
A survey on work-life balance of women in science reveals that even though they scale newer professional horizons, they continue to remain solidly embedded in India’s cultural ethos
n Dr Sudha Tiwari
While the journey for women as professionals has been filled with struggle, discrimination and unfavorable conditions, significant progress has been made in the past cen- tury and it continues. This journey has been an even steeper uphill path for women in science. Though there have been stalwarts like Marie Curie, Irene Joliot-Curie, Maria Mayer and many more legends in the past to the likes of Donna Strickland, Frances Arnold, You Tu in recent times, research and science, in general, is considered a tougher pro- fession given that the scientists are at the frontier in terms of exploring and achiev- ing new milestones for the progress of mankind. Hence, women scientists need a special appreciation for their contribu- tion in the field of science and bringing the status of women to where it is now. In the current situation, the conditions
are getting better globally and there is a lot of encouragement for women scien- tists to grow and contribute more.
In India, historically there have been champions for women in science from Anna Mani, Dr Indira Hinduja to heroes of recent times like Kalpana Chawla and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. Their contribu- tions have not only added to the progress of science but have also proved to be a huge source of inspiration for later gen- erations. In India as well, the situation is getting better for women with special emphasis being given in recent times for equality.
The status of women scientists in the world has been getting better in terms of percentage representation of women as scientists. Currently this number is around 28.8% as a global average and 14% in India. Since Marie Curie in 1901, 50 women scientists have been awarded Nobel Prize with 10 of them coming in the current decade.
There are many organisations striving to improve the participation by women in science and the number of such organ- isations is growing with time.

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