February 17, 2022 – In celebration of the 2022 International Day of Women and Girls in Science, the Department of Education (DepEd) on Friday highlighted outstanding Filipina scientists to inspire more young girls to venture into the field of science.
“I am proud of the women who continue to uphold gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls involved in the field of science. This should abolish long-standing biases and gender stereotypes that are steering girls and women away from science-related fields,” Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones said.
Undersecretary San Antonio highlighted that celebrating women and girls, who have contributed to science, is something that deserves the support of anyone passionate about equity, sciences, nation-building through a lot of innovations that only those with scientific minds can contribute.
“I fully believe that the Philippines is one country that is among the most gender-equal countries in the world, especially in dealing with gender issues, concerns, and development,” Undersecretary San Antonio said.
Eminent Filipino women scientists Dr. Rowena Cristina Guevara, Undersecretary for Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology, Dr. Gay Jane Perez, Deputy Director-General of the Philippine Space Agency, and Dr. Maria Ruth Pineda-Cortel, Researcher at the UST Research Center for the Natural Sciences and finalist in the ASEAN-US Science Prize for Women 2020, shared messages of empowerment, while the inspiring story of Philippine Genome Center Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Palmes-Saloma on her journey to being a scientist was also featured.
“Sa Department of Science and Technology sa aming research and development grants, halos kalahati ng ating project leaders ay mga kababaihan at higit po diyan sa ating mga scholars sa science and engineering, halos kalahati rin po ay kababaihan,” Dr. Guevara shared.
On the other hand, Dr. Cortel noted that while the gender gap hinders the dreams of women and girls to contribute to science, she believes “that if we work together as one, as women and girls of science, we can smash stereotyping and defeat discrimination against women and girls in science.”
“The event is an opportunity for us women to serve as beacons of hope to each other, especially to the young girls of today. I encourage all women to persevere and break the barriers so that women in this field will one day be the norm rather than an exception,” Dr. Perez emphasized.
The International Day of Women and Girls in Science, observed annually by the UN on February 11, is implemented by UNESCO and UN-Women in collaboration with institutions and civil society partners that aim to promote women and girls in science.