On Tuesday, Cross River State Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu in an interview to commemorate “The International Day for Women and Girls” said the number of women and girls in sciences in Nigeria is currently inadequate.
Feb. 11 every year marks The International Day for Women and Girls in Sciences and this year’s theme was “Investing in women and girls for inclusive green growth”.
Even though science and gender equality is necessary to achieve set international development goals, including the 2030 SDGs, certain biases and gender stereotypes have hindered women and girls from science-related fields.
The commissioner attributed the shortage to families educating more of male than female children, as well as some cultural and religious factors preventing females from taking giant strides.
The commissioner disclosed that these factors has decreased the number of educated women, especially in science-related fields.
“There are cultures that still say a woman cannot go to school, that her place is in the kitchen or the bedroom.
“Some other cultures also encourage the habit of giving out girls in early marriages.
“ You see girls getting married at the age of 10 or 11 without having the opportunity to acquire basic education.’’
Condemning the notion that some fields were exclusively for men, she said, “ I don’t know where we got that from because it is very wrong.’’
She said like men, women too could excel in various science courses, because women are meticulous, innovative and productive.
“As a medical doctor, people always address me as nurse whenever I go into to the hospital wards.
“They always have the perception that women are supposed to be nurses while men must be doctors.
“For me, today is that day when we should increase the advocacy for more women to be educated and be science inclined,” she said.
Edu was impressed with the theme of the year and called on women to partake in the ‘green revolution’ agenda of the Cross River State Government.