Every year on March 8, we celebrate International Working Women’s Day (IWD). However, IWD was originally instituted as a day for militancy and action. Now, liberal institutions and feminist organizations recognize International Women’s Day, and work towards measures to end bias. Each year in different regions of the world, IWD is celebrated by raising the issues of bias and forming legislations for women’s rights. Seldom do we hear from girl next door who is enjoying science and making accomplishments that she is proud of.
I hail from a country where the births of girls were considered the biggest crime. In a male dominated country, female death was as common as rains in a rainy season. But this is all myth for me. Things have changed drastically in the past 50 years. I have an elder sister and a younger brother and my father never discriminated among us. In fact, my father is my inspiration to move towards science and research. It’s because of his persistence that I came New York to pursue Master’s in Biology. Even while working as a software engineer in a team of 15 male members and one other female member, I never complained nor was ever mis-treated. I even led a team of my seniors for project completion, based on my caliber and experience in the particular domain.
At NYU, I am currently working as Graduate Research Assistant at Montclare lab. When I joined the Lab, I was inspired by the energy and passion of each member. The lab has almost same ratio of male and female members and the amazing thing is that it is led by a female professor – Dr. Jin Montclare. She is genuinely open, warm and unbiased person who want to see the students succeed. She is willing to give the students the opportunity to explore the diverse research environment, irrespective of their degree or gender. The working environment is highly conducive to high quality research. My fellow male candidates never made me feel unwanted in research.
"If the bringing of women - half the human race - into the center of historical inquiry poses a formidable challenge to historical scholarship, it also offers sustaining energy and a source of strength."
Very accurately summarized by Dr. Gerda Lerner in an interview to Journal of American History, 1982. Women have contributed in all the ways there are to the technical advancement of humanity. They held the same burdens of scholarship as the men did, and they accomplished just as much. What strikes me most is that the statement is gender unbiased, i.e, a woman is shown equal to man.
Writing this blog on International Women month\week, gives me the opportunity to thank each and every male member in my life who has somewhere realized me that it’s my own capabilities and notion that would take me ahead in my life. If ever I have been victim of gender discrimination or been deprived of an opportunity, I would like to thank them for doing so as it made me work harder to excel.
Happy international Women day to each and everyone!