International Day of Women and Girls in Science

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science came to be in the United Nations General Assembly on the 22nd of December 2015. The UN decided to allocate a special day to focus on and encourage girls to pursue higher education or careers in the fields of STEM – Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, as there is a massive gender gap in the field. Every year on February 11th, the UN, together with other institutions organize many events across the globe to educate girls on the opportunities the Science and Technology field has to offer and encourage them to enroll in STEM education programs.

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It has been found that less than 30 percent of researchers are women, and only 30 percent of female students select STEM related degrees for their higher education.  Due to gender stereotyping, many girls do not work in Science-related fields, especially in Asian and African countries. The UN and UNESCO plans to break these stereotypes and this day is solely dedicated to it. Even in Sri Lanka we see that girls steer away from fields of Engineering, Technology and Science as they have long been considered to be “more suitable for men”. But now, there is an increase in girls entering these fields, and it is very evident when we just take a look around our university, SLIIT.

Sri Lanka has produced some extremely talented females who have contributed to the fields of STEM. Read on and be prepared to be fascinated about 3 Sri Lankan women in Science and their achievements.

Dr. Asha de Vos

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Asha de Vos should definitely be a name you have heard recently, as she worked together with locals to fight to save the lives of the whales that were washed to the shores of Panadura. She is a marine biologist, ocean educator and an  adjunct research person at the University of Western Australia. She is also the founder of Oceanswellorg, which is a marine conservation and research organization, here in Sri Lanka. It should be noted that she is the first and only Sri Lankan to gain a PhD in marine mammal research. Asha de Vos founded the Sri Lankan Blue Whale Project, which is the first long term study on blue whales in the Northern Indian Ocean. Ms. De Vos has stated that women should define themselves by their capacity and not let their gender limit their potential, which is a great message for young girls.

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Professor Hiranya Peiris

She is a Professor of Astrophysicist at University College London (UCL) and has a PhD from the Department of Astrophysical Science at the Princeton University. She has received numerous awards for her contribution to astrophysics and her research focuses on Cosmic Microwave Background and galaxy surveys, using an interdisciplinary approach combining observations, theoretical physics, and advanced statistical methods. Hiranya is one of the 27 scientists who received the Breakthrough Prize in Fundamental Physics in 2018 and a team, including Hiranya won he Gruber Cosmology Prize for their “exquisite measurements of anisotropies in the relic radiation from the Big Bang—the Cosmic Microwave Background”.

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Dr. Widhya Rankothge

A familiar name? Yes, she is a Senior Lecturer at SLIIT and in the field of STEM. Dr. Windhya holds a PhD in Information Technology from the University of Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain and an MSc in Computer Science from the University of Moratuwa. She was the IEEE WIE Sri Lanka sector chair for the year 2019 as well as the secretary of IEEE Sri Lanka Section for year 2020. She was also awarded the Female ICT Leader of the Year 2019 at the Computer Society of Sri Lanka (CSSL) National ICT Awards. She plays a great role in educating young women in pursuing careers in the fields of STEM and feels that it is important for women to enter the field of engineering as they can be equally as good as men in it.

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The above individuals are only a few of the most talented Sri Lankan females, contributing to the fields of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. There are many more who should also be recognized, and I hope all the young girls reading this would strive to create an impact, just like these amazing ladies have!

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ජාත්‍යන්තර විද්‍යාවේ නියුතු කාන්තා හා ගැහැණු ළමයින්ගේ දිනය 2015 දෙසැම්බර් 22 වන දින එක්සත් ජාතීන්ගේ මහා මණ්ඩල සැසිවාරයේදී කරලියට පැමිණුනි. විද්‍යාව, තාක්‍ෂණය, ඉංජිනේරු විද්‍යාව සහ ගණිතය (STEM), ආදී ක්ෂේත්‍රයන්හි විශාල ස්ත්‍රී පුරුෂ පරතරයක් ඇති බැවින් STEM ක්ෂේත්‍රයන්හි උසස් අධ්‍යාපනය හෝ වෘත්තිය හැදෑරීම සඳහා ගැහැණු ළමයින්ගේ අවධානය යොමු කිරීම හා දිරිගැන්වීම සඳහා විශේෂ දිනයක් වෙන් කිරීමට එක්සත් ජාතීන් තීරණය කළේය. සෑම වසරකම පෙබරවාරි 11 වන දින එක්සත් ජාතීන් සහ අනෙකුත් ආයතන එක්ව ලොව පුරා බොහෝ වැඩසටහන් මෙම අරමුණෙන් සංවිධානය කරයි.

ලොව පුරා පර්යේෂකයන්ගෙන් කාන්තා නියෝජනය සියයට 30 කටත් වඩා අඩු ප්‍රමාණයක් වන බව සොයාගෙන ඇති අතර, තවද කාන්තාවන්ගෙන් උසස් අධ්‍යාපනය සඳහා STEM ආශ්‍රිත උපාධි තෝරා ගන්නේ සියයට 30 ක් පමනක් බවද සොයා ගෙන ඇත. ස්ත්‍රී පුරුෂ භාවය ඒකාකෘතිකරණය හේතුවෙන් ආසියානු සහ අප්‍රිකානු රටවල බොහෝ ගැහැනු ළමයින් විද්‍යාව ආශ්‍රිත ක්ෂේත්‍රවලට යොමු වීම අඩුය. එක්සත් ජාතීන් හා යුනෙස්කෝව මෙම ඒකාකෘති බිඳ දැමීමට සැලසුම් කර ඇති අතර මේ දිනය ඒ සඳහා පමණක්ම කැපවී ඇත.ශ්‍රී ලංකාවේ පවා ගැහැනු ළමයින් ඉංජිනේරු, තාක්‍ෂණ හා විද්‍යා යන ක්ෂේත්‍රයන්ගෙන් ඈත්වී සිටින බව අපට පෙනේ. නමුත් දැන්, ගැහැණු ළමයින් මෙම ක්ෂේත්‍රවලට පිවිසීමේ වැඩි වීමක් දක්නට ලැබෙන අතර, අපගේ විශ්ව විද්‍යාලය වන SLIIT දෙස බැලූ විට එය ඉතා පැහැදිලිව පෙනේ.

ශ්‍රී ලංකාව විසින් STEM ක්ෂේත්‍රයට දායක වූ අතිශය දක්ෂ කාන්තාවන් කිහිප දෙනෙකු බිහි කර තිබේ. විද්‍යාව පිළිබඳ ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කාන්තාවන් 3 දෙනෙකු වන ආචාර්ය ආශා ද වොස්, මහාචාර්ය හිරන්යා පීරිස්, ආචාර්ය විද්‍යා රන්කොත්ගේ සහ ඔවුන්ගේ ජයග්‍රහණ ඊට නිදසුන් සපයයි.ඉහත පුද්ගලයින් විද්‍යාව, තාක්‍ෂණය, ඉංජිනේරු විද්‍යාව සහ ගණිතය යන ක්ෂේත්‍ර සඳහා දායක වන ශ්‍රී ලාංකික කාන්තාවන් කිහිප දෙනෙකු පමණි. හඳුනාගත යුතු තවත් බොහෝ අය සිටින අතර, මෙය කියවන සියලුම තරුණියන් මෙම විස්මිත කාන්තාවන් මෙන් ලොවට බලපෑමක් ඇති කිරීමට උත්සාහ කරනු ඇතැයි මම බලාපොරොත්තු වෙමි!

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விஞ்ஞானத்தில் சர்வதேச மகளிர் மற்றும் மகளிர் தினம் 2015 ஆம் ஆண்டு  டிசம்பர் 22 ஆம் தேதி ஐக்கிய நாடுகள் சபையின் பொதுச் சபையால் அறிவிக்கப்பட்டது.

STEM துறைகளில் (அறிவியல், தொழில்நுட்பம், பொறியியல் மற்றும் கணிதம்)  சிறுமிகளுக்கு உயர் கல்வி அல்லது தொழில் வாழ்க்கையைத் தொடர ஊக்குவிப்பதற்காக ஒரு சிறப்பு நாளை ஒதுக்க ஐ.நா முடிவு செய்தது. ஏனெனில், இந்த துறையில் மிகப்பெரிய பாலின இடைவெளி உள்ளது. ஒவ்வொரு ஆண்டும்  பிப்ரவரி 11 ஆம் தேதி ஐ.நா பிற நிறுவனங்களுடன் சேர்ந்து, உலகெங்கிலும்  பல நிகழ்வுகளை ஏற்பாடு செய்து, அறிவியல் மற்றும் தொழில்நுட்பத் துறையில் பெண்களுக்கு கல்வி கற்பிப்பதற்கான வாய்ப்புகள் குறித்து STEM கல்வித் திட்டங்களில் சேர ஊக்குவிக்கிறது.

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ஆய்வின்படி 30 சதவீதத்துக்கும் குறைவான பெண்கள் என்பது கண்டறியப்பட்டுள்ளது, மேலும் 30 சதவீத பெண் மாணவர்கள் மட்டுமே உயர் கல்விக்காக STEM தொடர்பான பட்டங்களைத் தேர்ந்தெடுக்கின்றனர். பாலின நிலைப்பாடு காரணமாக, பல பெண்கள் அறிவியல் தொடர்பான துறைகளில், குறிப்பாக ஆசிய மற்றும் ஆப்பிரிக்க நாடுகளில் வேலை செய்வதில்லை. ஐ.நா மற்றும் யுனெஸ்கோ இவ்வாறான ஒரே மாதிரியான எண்ணங்களை உடைக்க திட்டமிட்டுள்ளது, இந்த நாள் அதற்காகவே அர்ப்பணிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளது. இலங்கையில் கூட, பெண்கள் பொறியியல், தொழில்நுட்பம் மற்றும் அறிவியல் துறைகளில் இருந்து விலகிச் செல்வதைக் காண்கிறோம், ஏனெனில் அவர்கள் “ஆண்களுக்கு மிகவும் பொருத்தமானவை” என்று நீண்ட  காலமாக கருதப்பட்டு வருகிறது. ஆனால் இப்போது, இந்தத் துறைகளில் பெண்கள் நுழைவது அதிகரித்துள்ளது, எங்கள் பல்கலைக்கழகமான SLIIT ஐச் சுற்றிப் பார்க்கும்போது இது  மிகவும் தெளிவாகிறது.

STEM துறைகளில் பங்களிக்க சில திறமையான பெண்களை இலங்கை உருவாக்கியுள்ளது. உதாரணமாக டாக்டர் ஆஷா டி வோஸ், பேராசிரியர் ஹிரண்யா பீரிஸ் மற்றும் டாக்டர் வித்யா ராங்கோத்ஜ். இந் நபர்கள் அறிவியல், தொழில்நுட்பம், பொறியியல் மற்றும் கணிதம் ஆகிய துறைகளில் பங்களிக்கும் மிகச் சிறந்த இலங்கை பெண்களில் சிலராவர். இன்னும் பலரும் அங்கீகரிக்கப்பட வேண்டும், இதைப் படிக்கும் அனைத்து இளம்பெண்களும் இந்த அற்புதமான பெண்களைப் போலவே ஒரு தாக்கத்தையும் உருவாக்க முயற்சிப்பார்கள் என்று நம்புகிறேன்!

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Penned by : Rtr. Azfa Azhar

Translated, Edited and Published by : RACSLIIT Editorial Team 2020/21

WIN

One Comment Add yours

  1. Oshini says:

    How to join the un women’s.

    Like

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