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EU Envoy: Pakistani Women’s Contribution to Science Is Extraordinary

ISLAMABAD – Marking the International Women’s Day, a conference about ‘Women in Science’ was held last Wednesday to highlight the achievements of female scientists in the South Asian Muslim country.

“Despite challenges at the multiple levels, women’s contributions in science and technology are extraordinary in Pakistan,” Charge de’ Affairs, EU Delegation to Pakistan, Anne Marchal, acknowledged, The News reported on Saturday.

The conference was organized by Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) in collaboration with the EU Delegation to Pakistan and the Ministry of Science and Technology.

The event highlighted that Pakistani women represent 48.5% of the country’s population. Meanwhile, their contribution to the scientific research in the medical and health disciplines is 48.3%, 45.5% in humanitarian and arts, 42.7% in natural sciences, 22% in engineering, and 11% in agricultural fields.

Marchal spoke about the EU programs in Pakistan, especially the “EU Program Horizon 2020” and called upon the Pakistani female scientists to send maximum joint research projects’ proposals.

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Speaking out of her experience, Dr. Bushra Mirza, a professor at the Department of Biochemistry in Quaid-i-Azam University Islamabad and winner of IESCO Women Science Chair, opined that lack of support from academic institutions, networking, confidence and biased attitudes are the major hurdles in the way of women to shine in their fields.

“Recently, PSF has taken an advance by announcing Science Talent Farming Scheme for students of Intermediate level wherein it has been ensured that the participation of girls and boys from underdeveloped regions is preserved without any gender discriminations,” said PSF Chairman, Major (r) Qaisar Majeed Maik.

“Pakistan has a growing pool of female scientists and engineers.”