Women scientists have instinct to work selflessly: president

March 8th, 2008 - 5:29 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Pratibha Patil

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Lauding the role of women scientists in the country, President Pratibha Patil Saturday said they have the instinct to create, to nurture and to work selflessly with dedication. Speaking at the National Conference for Women Scientists, Patil said women could bring significant social change by working at the grassroots level for women’s empowerment using science and technology.

As the conference coincided with the International Women’s Day, the president said she wanted to remind the women scientists to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, including those relating to promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment, by 2015.

“Achieving these goals will require our concerted and collective efforts,” she added.

“On the International Day for women, we should reaffirm our commitment to achieve these goals. I have no doubt that given the opportunity women would excel in every field. But the question is can we give women the necessary education, skills, options and a level field of play?

“Women scientists would bring into scientific research the instincts most commonly associated with women - to create, to nurture, to preserve and to work selflessly with dedication,” she added.

At the occasion, she gave five scientists the National Award for Women’s Development through Application of Science and Technology - 2007 and Women Bio-scientists Award.

Highlighting the fact that women scientists should be encouraged, Patil said she would like to see that their talent, hard work and dedication bring laurels to India.

“Can we overcome societal biases against women? Can we fight against social evils and discrimination against women? Only if the answer to all these questions is in the affirmative, will we achieve gender equality.”

Patil said science and technology “influence the course of human civilisation and hold the key to economic growth and social development”.

Noting that cutting edge technology plays a critical role in communications, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, automobile and many other manufacturing industries, she said these industries should involve women scientists in their research and development efforts.

Praising the Ministry of Science and Technology and Earth Sciences for promoting young scientists, she said this should continue. But she observed that fewer women are involved in active research in science, compared to men.

“Our efforts to nurture women scientists must, therefore, begin at the school level itself. There could be a scholarship scheme for the girl child who wishes to pursue science courses.”

The president said solutions are needed so that women could pursue careers in science.

A Women Scientist’s Cell, Protsahyaki - a nodal point to focus on gender enabling measures - has been set up by the ministry, which she said, has also instituted fellowships to provide opportunities to women scientists.

“There is need to develop a spirit of entrepreneurship among women, thereby creating more jobs opportunities, self-esteem and greater growth of women,” she added.

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