Encouraging more women in the sciences

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Too many in our country still take issue with providing education to girls

Congratulations to Dr Firdausi Qadri for being one of the recipients of the 22nd L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Award.

Dr Qadri has been given the award for her outstanding work to understand and prevent infectious diseases affecting children in developing countries, and for her tireless work towards promoting early diagnosis and vaccination with global health impact.

More than recognition for an individual scientist, this award represents where Bangladesh is headed in the future.

It is not controversial to express that gender discrimination in our country is still as prevalent as ever, where stories of women’s rights being abused as they battle everyday sexism and institutional misogyny make headlines on a regular basis.

Furthermore, too many in our country still take issue with providing education to girls, which only works to hold back women and stifle the economy in the long run. History attests that a society cannot move forward without letting women reach their potential in all spheres.

It is a good sign though, that things are changing.

We are slowly observing more and more female politicians climb the political ranks, not to mention that the RMG sector — the primary engine of our economy — has a predominantly female workforce.

But there is still a lot of work to do before true equality is achieved. We want to see more women in science, in the arts, in politics. Some of these changes can only come about through a radical change in the sexist attitudes ingrained in society.

But achievements like Dr Qadri’s show that we are on track.