When we tell a young woman that she matters, we are inviting her into a life of service and action. Leadership is hard work and it comes with real responsibility. We help young leaders grow when we give them both, by telling them that they matter, and are accountable for it.
The paucity of impact-making announcements by female astronomers in general is dreadful. How can it be, that well over a century after the first women received PhDs in astronomy, women have failed to match their male peers in this and other aspects of STEM academia?
Women are not represented in the STEM fields professionally -- regardless of their enrollment rates in such courses at the university level. This challenging trend applies not only to the Middle East and North Africa, but to other regions as well.
While the lack of women in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields is often attributed to lack of ability or desire on the part of women, a more likely explanation is that societal beliefs, or stereotypes, color our view.
As women, it's critical that we open doors for young girls who do not know they exist. These are not just doors to the unknown, but doors to the "STEM" careers: opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.