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Science and The African Girl Child

Unconscious biases toward women by men continue to question women’s competencies in the field of science and technology. Little wonder, news of Miss Sandra Musujusu, MSc student from the African University of Science and Technology, Abuja may perhaps have spread like wildfire.  According to Tribune, She may have discovered alternative cure to breast cancer. This was made known in Abuja when the World Bank Education Director, Dr Jaime Saavedra Chanduvi visited the University as part of his assessment tour of the 10 African Centers of Excellence (ACE). This is as a result of the donation made by World Bank for Ground breaking researches and specialization of the institutions benefiting from developing specific problems faced in Nigeria and across the world.

A conscious effort has been made deliberately to reassure and celebrate fellow women empowerment, confidence and achievement. The Sierra Leonean is celebrated as it appears her research may lead to a ground breaking solution in the treatment of breast cancer prevalent among women in the world. Her research which is under the sponsorship of Pan Material Institute, AUST, is focused on the solving problems of African women, creating an elucidation toward the challenges faced by womenfolk.  It focuses on the development of biodegradable polymers for the treatment of cancers

While we celebrate her achievement, it would be imperative to inspire younger generations of women who are stirred to follow her footsteps. The lacuna that has been created in scientific field by myths and unhealthy cultural beliefs of a woman’s place should be eradicated. Unnecessary tagging of profession to a particular gender should be discouraged.

At puberty, The African Girl Child moves from self-confidence to self-consciousness. They begin to deny or downplay their intelligence, since they have been conditioned into unpleasant stipulations. This is because societal attitudes towards female participation in some career hinders womenfolk from showcasing their in- built ability.  This draws indicators of the clock of advancement in reverse. Your intelligence or love for sciences does not make you less feminine.

It is imperative, that at this point, you provide them with positive role models, like Musujusu for example.  Her belief in African women abilities should be tapped into and instilled in at an early age.  Applying her scientific abilities to domestic scenarios rather than stiffening them might be the magic. When you cheer females into scientific careers, it aids further than just bridging gender gap.

May our cup be filled with more of Musujusus!

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Adepeju Adenuga

Adepeju Adenuga is a writer (considering where you are reading this, makes perfect sense). She holds a Masters Degree in Literature in English from the University of Lagos.

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