Women want to break stereotypes in science

By Karen López

They encourage empowerment from preschool during forum in Puebla

Over a hundred women scientists, authorities and experts in pedagogy will meet today, at the International Baroque Museum in Puebla, to seek strategies that break the stereotype that girls are not fit to dedicate their lives to the physical, chemistry and mathematics field.

Portada ciencias preesImagen Original: “abg_colegio”, por Recreo en Preescolar 03, bajo licencia CC BY 2.0, vía Flickr

This meeting, organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Puebla Secretariat of Education, is the "Consultative Forum for Preschool Science Teaching ".

The representative of UNESCO in our country, Nuria Sanz, gave an exclusive to the Chronicle, where she said that this shared effort will focus on the importance of education in the preschool stage, since there are studies in Latin America where it is shown that between the age of 6 and 7 years old, little girls already believe that they are not good for the sciences simply "because they are women".

“The studies we’ve done on Education in Latin America and the Caribbean have given us very clear data of how these girls, aged 6 and 7, feel. When we asked them ‘why are you so outstanding in reading-writing and not in math?’ the answer is: because I'm a girl”, said a worried Sanz.


"We think that this is a subject that must be worked conscientiously, in a convincing way, because the answer little boys gave us to that same question was always linked to external causes rather than their own condition of being boys. So the fact that, as a girl, I already know that I will not do well in math, it does not seem like a right answer. If a 6 year old girl says that, it means that it is something that is being generated from before and we want to go to the point of origin: we want to go to preschool," adds the representative of the multilateral organism.

With the situation presented, Nuria Sanz knows that when there is talk of female empowerment there are different interpretations of that concept, so she is very specific in the intention of this project.

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“We really want, as part of that empowerment, for girls to not lack, at any time, the ability to be heard. For us this type of empowerment consists of generating a confidence in the idea that the curiosity does not know of sexes because, in fact, these girls are in the world as human beings and they have the same possibilities because without a doubt, they have the same quality in their talent”.

Some of the scientists who will share their testimonies at the meeting are Rosaura Ruiz Gutiérrez, who in 2008 became the first woman to preside over the Mexican Academy of Science; María Esther Orozco, winner of the L'Oréal-UNESCO “Women in Science” Award in 2006; as well as the researchers Selene Fernández, Viridiana González and Maritza Lara, winners of the L'Oréal-UNESCO-CONACYT-AMC 2016 “Women in Science” Scholarship. Isaura Meza, founder of the Mexican Society of Cell Biology, will also take part in the workshops.

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