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OWSD Pakistan: Role and Challenges for Women Scientists: Past, Present and Future

June 24, 2021

Women as a driver of change in diverse areas of physical, biological, and social sciences are now undeniable and their contributions are being recognized both globally and in Asian countries including Pakistan. However, getting to leadership positions in male-dominated fields and professions has been a major challenge for women whose biological age of childbearing and multitasking coincides with the time period of mid and upper-level career development. It is high time that women’s contributions are highlighted and appreciated in various forums.

Considering this, OWSD Pakistan organized a virtual lecture on “Role and Challenges for Women Scientists: Past, Present and Future”. The lecture was the part of OWSD Pakistan virtual lecture series on “Women Scientists Through Journey of Challenges/Success” (2nd Lecture of the Series). The speaker of the session was Professor Rabia Hussain.

Professor Rabia Hussain is the former chair of the department of pathology & microbiology, Agha Khan University, Karachi. She obtained her Ph.D. in Immunology from the University of Western Ontario, Canada. Professor Hussain specializes in the immunology of infectious diseases. She carried out her research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University and was a Senior Staff Fellow at the National Institutes of Health, USA. Her research focused on natural blocking mechanisms of allergies in human parasitic diseases. At the Aga Khan University, her focus shifted to Leprosy and Tuberculosis. Dr. Hussain has received numerous awards including Tamghe-i-Imtiaz and Sitara-e-Imtiaz, Govt of Pakistan. She has been listed in the “Top 20 most influential women in science” in the Muslim World in January 2014 and Asia Academies (AAASA) has listed her among the top 50 scientists from Pakistan in Asia 2018.

The program was conducted virtually on Microsoft Teams. The guest was introduced by Professor Bina S. Siddique (President, OWSD PNC). Professor Rabia discussed the achievements of women Nobel laureates and the hardships they faced. She also mentioned the personal experiences and hurdles she has faced during her career. Later in her talk, she discussed policies regarding appointments and biased behavior towards women in industries and other areas. She also pointed out the lacking of the quality of mentorship, availability of scholarships, and policies for Ph.D. fellows and young scientists. She also gave some suggestions about how these issues can be resolved. At the end of the session, an interactive Q&A session was conducted during which Dr. Bina S. Siddique also shared her personal experiences with attendees. Professor Siddique (President, OWSD PNC) concluded the session by extending her gratitude towards the speaker and organizing team.


Special Thanks:

Professor Rabia Hussain (Guest Speaker) 

Executive Council Members, OWSD PNC 

Media and Organizing Team, OWSD PNC 

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