The Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN) has expressed deep concern about the increasing low participation of Muslim women in Sciences and Technology.
FOMWAN, a not-for-profit civil society umbrella body for Muslim women organisations in Nigeria, quoted a 2015 UNESCO Science report that indicates a low number (28%) of women worldwide have careers in the Sciences.
“Unfortunately, the number of Muslim women/girls within this group will most likely be around 25% of this 28%,” the group’s national education chairperson, Dr. Mrs. Lateefah Durosinmi noted.
Dr. Durosinmi posited that Muslims should be sensitized about the great deal of importance attached to Sciences and Technology.
According to her, “The Muslim world has made remarkable contributions to Science. The Islamic heritage of knowledge and scholarship produced great civilizations and made substantial contributions to the development of the Sciences.
“Muslims introduced new methods of experiment, observation and measurement. To name but a few: Al-Khwarizmi invented algebra (an Arabic word) and the word algorithm is derived from his name; Ibn Al-Haytham wrote the laws of the reflection and refraction of light and expounded the principles of inertia (long before Isaac Newton formulated his theories); Ibn Sina (in what is now modern day Uzbekistan) wrote the Canon of Medicine (al-Qanun fi’l-Tibb), a 318-page medical text that was the basis for all medical teaching in Europe and the Middle East for hundreds of years.
“Education enhances the social development of the girl child and women. Females need the skills and resources to build self-confidence, understand their rights, earn an income and gain the respect of their family and community. Women empowerment in the Sciences, ICT and Engineering ensure substantial improvement in their productivity, wellbeing and quality of life. The Ummah needs female doctors. To become a doctor, you must be interested in the Sciences,” she said.
Explaining the strategies by which female Muslims could be encouraged to key into Sciences and Technology, FOMWAN Education chairperson listed scholarships and financial support, guidance and counselling sessions, engagements with Muslim teachers, extra lessons in Sciences and the need for female role models and mentors in Sciences.
“Science and Technology can take the Muslim Ummah to greater heights, to greater development. Development is a process that involves a positive change, an improvement in life.
“Today, Science has a profound effect on the way we live. It plays an important role in the things we use or consume every day, preservatives, flavourings, vast range of plastics and other synthetic materials.
“Science has also brought about technology that helps save human life. The kidney dialysis machine enables many people to survive kidney diseases that would once have proved fatal and artificial valves allow sufferers of coronary heart disease to return to active living. Biochemical research is responsible for the antibiotics and vaccinations that protect us from infectious diseases, and for a wide range of other drugs used to combat specific health problems,” she added.
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