Since 2016, the General Assembly of the United Nations has declared February 11 to be the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
In its resolution on December 22, 2015, the UN invited “all Member States, all organizations and bodies of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, the private sector and academia, as well as civil society, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, to observe the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in an appropriate manner…”
We are part of civil society, albeit a small one, and we’d like to follow the recommendations the UN set out for us in that resolution:
“in order to promote the full and equal participation of women and girls in education, training, employment and decision-making processes in the sciences, eliminate all discrimination against women, including in the field of education and employment…”
We’d like to do so by recalling three articles we published in our blog where women scientists with a strong connection to our country play a leading role.
In the first, we’ll meet Rebeca y Guillermina Uribe Bone, two Basque-descendant women who were pioneers in engineering in Colombia.
In the second, we’ll recall Selma Huxley, the English-Canadian researcher who told the world of the epic journeys of the Basque sailors in the 16th century off the coast of modern-day Canada.
And in the third, we’ll remember Magda Sagarzazu. This Basque from Hondarribia dedicated an important part of her life to working on the conservation of Gaelic on the small Scottish island of Canna.
Three very different fields, and four women from different origins, but all of them have two things in common: their hard work and their commitment to science, and their connection to Basque society. But, more than that, they are role models and an inspiration for all girls and women, and also for boys and men.
Science should have no more barriers than the ones that women and men work hard every day to break down to broaden our knowledge as humans. Leaving out half of our society, pushing them away from this work, is to hold ourselves back, pushing away different viewpoints and perspectives from the march towards knowledge. Using all the resources available to us can only make us better.