February 10, 2023
2023 International Day of Women and Girls in Science at the University of Port Harcourt
On Thursday 9 February 2023, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) University of Port Harcourt in collaboration with UPWA International School and Centre for Creative Development Strategies celebrated the International Day for Women and Girls in Science. The celebration was held in the UPWA International School auditorium, where many prominent scientists and women leaders gathered to inspire and encourage girls in the field of science.
One of the most anticipated events of the day was a talk titled "Waking the Young Minds Among Girls in Science." The speaker was a renowned scientist and a passionate advocate for girls in science, Dr. Eucharia Oluchi Nwaichi. She took the stage and greeted the audience with a warm smile. She began her talk by highlighting the crucial role of science in shaping our future and the need for more diversity in the field, including more representation of women and girls. She talked about her own journey as a scientist and the challenges she faced along the way. She emphasized that, despite these challenges, she never lost her passion for science and always believed in her abilities to make a difference. She showcased many awards to her credit chiefly the 2022 John Maddox Prize.
Dr. Eucharia then went on to share some inspiring stories of young girls who have made significant contributions to the field of science, despite facing numerous barriers by reviewing articles under the platform of Frontiers for Young Minds. These stories were a testament to the potential of young girls and the importance of encouraging them to pursue careers in science.
She also talked about the initiatives and programs that have successfully promoted girls in science, including mentorship programs, workshops, and competitions. She encouraged the audience to support these initiatives and to become role models for the next generation of young girls in science.
The audience received the talk well, and many were inspired by the Speakers’ passion and commitment to promoting girls in science. The attendees left the event feeling empowered and motivated to do their part in creating a more inclusive and diverse scientific community.
The Executive Director, Centre for Creative Development Strategies, Nancy Iheduru, expatiated on the global theme for 2023 IDWGS ‘Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls’ and charged the girls in science to innovate, aspire and sustain learned skills. The graduate of Mathematics also encouraged them to love Mathematics as it supports all fields of STEM.
The President of the University of Port Harcourt Women (UPWA), Dr. Udeme Georgewill spiced up the mood with her targeted stories from pharmacology, her area of expertise. She chronicled the significant roles played by women in science and development, charging the girls in science to believe in themselves and reach out to remain inspired. She expressed her satisfaction with the warm participation of the girls in science.
Other STEM women including Dr. Nkolika Nwazor, Dr. Ifeoma Ofurum, Dr. Onyi Akomah-Abadaiki, Dr. Rose Ugonwa, and Lauritta Ndufeiya-Kumasi lent their weights to respond to questions by the girls in science.
The celebration of the International Day for Women and Girls in Science was a success, and the talk by Dr. Eucharia Nwaichi was a highlight of the event. Her message of hope and encouragement and the attainments of diverse members of OWSD UniPort will continue to inspire and motivate future generations of girls to pursue careers in science.