In commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD), some female scientists have urged women and girls to believe in their capabilities, pursue their dreams and ensure the opportunities they deserved come by merit.

The scientists made the call on Friday in Abuja in separate interviews with Newsmen.

IWD is celebrated annually on March 8 as movement for women’s rights, after the Socialist Party of America organized a Women’s Day on Feb. 28, 1909 in New York and in 1910, the International Socialist Woman’s Conference suggested an annual Women’s Day.

Meanwhile, the 2019 International Women’s Day has “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change” as its theme. The theme focuses on innovative ways to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women, social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure.

The Head, Natural Resources Management Division, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) Dr Rakiya Babamaaji stated that women should believe that they could venture into Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) careers.

She also advised that Women and girls should believe that with hard work, they can break any barrier. Girls should have that confidence and that women should always be ready to mentor younger women, guide them and give back to the girls in secondary schools, in the university and be an inspirational story to them.

Dr Babamaaji urged government at all levels to sponsor more science programmes and give more grants and equal opportunities to women. According to her, the best should always win irrespective of sex. Government should do more awareness creation in the development of science and technology for women, equip science labs in schools with up-to-date facilities. Government also needs to encourage more exhibitions, excursion because you catch them as they are young.

The National Coordinator, Astronomers Without Borders (AWB) Mrs Olayinka Fagbemiro, complained about discrimination against women especially in sub-Saharan Africa. She said that some parents believed that the girl-child would end in the kitchen, hence no need waste resources training her. She added that women should invest in themselves and attain their desired goals in spite of hurdles in the society.

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