International Women's Day: Transforming the world with education

March 07, 2022


International Women’s Day is celebrated globally on 8 March every year to celebrate the achievements of women, be it social, economic, cultural, or political. 

The International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign theme for 2022, #BreakTheBias has an empowering mission: To take action for equality.

International Women's Day website screenshot.

Image source: International Women's Day website

Throughout history, there are women who changed the world with the power of education:

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander for International Women's Day.

Image source: Best Colleges

Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (1898-1989) was the first black American woman to earn a PhD, and the first black woman to earn a law degree. She had fought discrimination and segregation in her law career and was highly committed and passionate in civil rights. She also received a bachelor’s and master’s degree, and had studied education and economics along with her law degree.

Dorothy Garrod image.

Image source: Best Colleges

Dorothy Garrod (1892-1968) became the first woman professor of the University of Cambridge, teaching the first prehistoric archaeology courses in the United Kingdom. Garrod made sure to hire women to join her archaeological endeavours in North Africa and the Middle East. She had made several revolutionary discoveries, such as prehistoric buildings and skulls.

Cynthia Kenyon image.

Image source: The Wall Street Journal

Cynthia Kenyon is a molecular biologist and pioneer in ageing research. Her aim is to lengthen human lifespan by 100 years. The effects of her research actually took hold on mice, which means it is highly likely that the same can be achieved by humans! 

Malala Yousafzai image.

Image source: Global Partnership

Malala Yousafzai’s name is no stranger to everyone. The Pakistan-born and other girls almost lost their right to education when the Taliban took control, but Malala fought back with her voice. Taking a bullet did not stop Malala, as she still continues to fight for girls' education around the world after graduating from Oxford University in 2020. She is also the world's youngest Nobel Prize laureate. Her courage and passion certainly made International Women’s Day a much more meaningful day to celebrate.

From fighting for education rights to potentially lengthening the human lifespan, we can see how amazing, strong, and inspiring women can be when they receive education and opportunities without bias.

You can also change your life and the world with education today. With International Women’s Day just around the corner, we’ve compiled a list of fields, and some are male-dominated fields in which women are now encouraged to join. One of them may be your calling!

1. Biotechnology

Female biotechnologist working on a microscope.

Biotechnology is a branch of biology that deals with living organisms, processes, or systems to create technology and products that are utilised to improve the quality of life.

Women have contributed greatly in biotechnology over the years, especially in the development of vaccines against the COVID-19 virus that reduced hospitalisation and deaths among the infected (Example: Oxford/Astra-Zeneca vaccine by Professor Sarah Gilbert).

There are more global issues that need to be addressed and solved through biotechnology, such as famine, disease, natural resources, and pollution. Your participation is what the industry needs!

There are 5 branches in biotechnology (human, environmental, industrial, animal, and plant) that allow you to improve wellbeing through technological innovations. Who knows? You might make a life-changing discovery too!

2. Astronomy

Telescope facing the night sky.

Discover how the universe works through astronomy. Defined as the study of celestial objects (planets, stars, galaxies, comets) from outside the atmosphere of the Earth, astronomy covers the physics, chemistry, meteorology, evolution, and development of the universe.

On the purpose of studying space, Hannah Kerner, Ph.D. student and board chair of the Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) said:

“Thinking about problems on scales like the astronomical is good. It is fundamentally worthwhile for humans to push the boundaries of their understanding, to convert the unknown into the known through the power of scientific inquiry….Rather than ‘What's the point?’ the question should be, ‘What does thinking about and understanding these problems mean for humans and for the evolution of humanity as a part of the universe?’”

International Women’s Day is also about empowering women in education unbiasedly. While astronomy has the impression of a male-dominated field, there are multiple women throughout history who have broken the stereotype and made discoveries that helped scientists understand the universe better.

Will you be the one to find out if we are truly not alone in this world?

3. Archaeology

Archaeological ruins in Athens.

According to career surveys by the US News and World Report, archaeology is ranked 7th among the best science jobs

Archaeology involves the study of human history and prehistory by analysing artefacts, physical remains, and excavation sites.

Contrary to popular belief, archaeology actually equips you with transferable skills that you can apply in other careers and even situations. From quantifying data and researching to understanding different cultures and having good communication skills, archaeology is the perfect mix of humanities and science training.

As you study archaeology, you will be exploring how life was before modernisation, as well as discovering how other civilisations lived by investigating ruins, burial grounds, historical records and maps, and more. Imagine confirming civilisation theories of past archaeologists and making discoveries of your own. How cool is that!

4. Computer science

Female computer scientist working in front of screens.

There are only about 20% of females in the computer science workforce. What’s worse, computer science has been portrayed by the media as a heavily male-dominant industry.

Studying computer science as a woman, you are gaining a very marketable skill as we are now living in a digital age where such skills will come in handy in securing a lucrative career. 

Some high-paying jobs include software developer, computer hardware engineer, information security analyst, IT project manager, and more.

Women’s participation in this field is also highly needed, as there is always a need for contributions in the development of software and hardware. Studies also showed that mixed gender teams tend to perform better

So, what are you waiting for?

“Don’t ever make decisions based on fear. Make decisions based on hope and possibility. Make decisions based on what should happen, not what shouldn’t.” 
-Michelle Obama-

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