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Experts: Women need to be pursued, nurtured in scientific fields

  • Published at 08:11 am July 15th, 2021
science research

‘Despite all the hardships, Bangladeshi girls will find ways to make inspiring strides forward and motivate others’

A lot of Bangladeshi women now are pursuing science and showing their record of merit in the related fields, but they need to be nurtured and encouraged to come forward, said experts. 

Some of the country’s prominent faces in the field of science and technology opined this while participating in a virtual discussion titled ‘Advancement of Women in Science Education’ organized by Naripokkho on Tuesday.

Data scientist Tamanna Urmi, while sharing her journey, said that during her early days she did not realize the stigma surrounding the women working in this field. 

“We had to face problems while prepping for math olympiads as girls and boys worked together after school hours.

“Travelling to different districts for competitions was also a challenge for us among other things.” 

“But my father, my physics teacher, and some other figures helped me in my journey. They were very encouraging,” Tamanna added.

Describing her share of the struggle, Faima Akter, a student of Bogra’s Azizul Haque Govt College, shed some light on how science inspired her to break the shackles of society. 

“I liked studying science from the early days of my school. That’s why I choose science as my mainstream in SSC as well as in HSC. But as I come from a poor family, my father wanted to marry me off after my SSC exams,” she told the virtual discussion.

“My college teachers helped me to convince my parents against this decision. They supported me by providing tuition fees and accommodation so that I could do well in my studies. They inspired me a lot.”

“However, I couldn’t sit for the admission tests of top-ranked universities as it required a lot of money which I did not have.

“That’s why I took admission at the Azizul Haque Govt College and now am pursuing the field of chemistry,” a confident Faima, with a million dreams glowing in her eyes, furthered.

Dr Tajmeri Zaman, a former teacher at Dhaka University’s (DU) chemistry department, echoed Faima. 

She said: “I was never second in my class. That’s why, one day, my headmistress called me and asked which stream I wanted to study. I replied engineering. She was not so fond of this decision.”

“My father wanted me to become a doctor, but I protested and got admitted to study chemistry,” she added. 

Dr Tajmeri discussed the hurdles women have to overcome while trying to build a career in science. 

“After completing my studies, I joined DU, my very own department, as a faculty. I found it difficult to maintain my teaching career as well as my family at the same time. Because of this, I couldn’t do much research activities.”

Also speaking at the event, Microbiologist Dr Senjuti Saha of Child Health Research Foundation (CHRF) emphasized the importance of having an encouraging family environment for girls to pursue the field of science. 

She said that she was blessed and privileged to have parents like hers considering the context of Bangladesh. 

“I was inspired by my mother more than my father, even though they both were microbiologists and had their PhD degrees together. Still, my mother always had more responsibilities than my father.”

Dr Saha said that the women participating in the fields of science always face various challenges, both home and abroad.

The experts hoped that despite all the hardships and obstacles, Bangladeshi women will find ways to shine and make inspiring strides in different scientific fields, which will motivate and drive forwards the girls of this country. 

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