More Qatari women interested in science

 15 Feb 2017 - 12:11

More Qatari women interested in science

By Fazeena Saleem | The Peninsula

Meet Dr Eman Nasralla, a Qatari woman who holds a PhD and Master degree in Modern Epidemiology and Biostatistics from Imperial College London and a Bachelor of Science in Genetics from Cardiff University.

According to Unesco, two percent of women worldwide peruse a doctorate in science and Dr Eman is one among them. 

More Qatari women are coming up showing interest in science and researches; thanks to the various organisations, like Qatar Foundation, working relentlessly for the empowerment of them and also the enormous support Qatar government provides for the cause.  

The Peninsula spoke to Dr Eman, who works at Sidra as Manager of Events and Community Relations,  and also several other women scientists to know their thoughts to coincide with the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated yesterday. 

Science and gender equality are both vital for the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

In the past 15 years, the global community has made a lot of effort in inspiring and engaging women and girls in science. Unfortunately, women and girls continued to be excluded from participating fully in science. 

Speaking about her interest in studying Dr Eman said, “Since I was young, I always liked to investigate, research and fix things! This motivated me to focus on science streams as I wanted to do research and get results and information that will benefit the community and make positive changes.”   

After completing her undergraduate studies Dr Nasralla faced the challenge of finding a suitable job  and she says, “The only challenge I faced, is when I completed my undergraduate studies, I couldn’t find a job that would fulfill my dreams - which is to be a fully dedicated scientist. That’s because at that time there weren’t any fully established research labs and there were also difficulties in procuring lab materials.” 

Highlighting  on the importance Qatari girls taking up science she said, “In my point of view, Qatari girls are not as interested in Science as before. More girls are attracted to other majors and perhaps this is because the options in other fields are better?” 

“Now that, Qatar has established research and science programmes at a few universities. It will encourage more young girls to consider careers in science.  The more scientists we have emerging from Qatar, the more it will support Qatar on its path to becoming a knowledge-focused economy. I also believe the media can help – by putting out more messages about the role of science in solving challenges in health, environment,” she added.

Some of the diverse female scientists working in  Research and Pathology divisions at Sidra also shared their views and experience in the field of science. 

Moza Khalifa Al Kowari, another Qatari national who works as a Specialist focusing on the Molecular Bases of Hearing Loss in the Experimental Genetics section of Sidra’s Research Department, always liked science especially math and biology. “After I finished high school, I wanted to study medicine but fortunately I was accepted in Biomedical science. Then I worked in the field of human genetics where I started building my path in this filed,” says Moza.

Sharing about the role she plays at Sida Moza said, “My work is directly related to the concept of personalised medicine. By studying genetic diseases and knowing the genetics causes of these diseases - we will help in designing personalized health plans to help minimising patients’ risks, prevention of the disease and precise treatment if it occurs.”