International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2023
February 11, 2023 marks the eighth annual celebration of the International Day of Women and Girls In Science. Established by the UN General Assembly in 2015, it is a day to recognize the vital role women and girls play in science and technology and to celebrate the critical contributions of women in these areas. It also aims to promote the full and equal participation of women and girls in STEM fields, breaking down barriers to gender equality.
Anera is committed to the advancement of women and girls in all aspects of life, with education and skills training being a central part of our work in Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine.
Women and girls in these countries often face a harsh reality when it comes to employment and other opportunities. Gender stereotypes and roles can get in the way of personal and professional advancement, and the unemployment rate is much higher among women.
Empowering women and girls with the education and skills to pursue careers in science and technology amplifies their voices and opens doors for their contributions to make lasting economic and sustainable change in their communities.
In honor of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, Anera is highlighting some extraordinary women in science, including medicine and engineering, who have been impacted by our programs. Their invaluable work continues to bring change, inspire others and show how powerful the impact of women in STEM can be.
Meet Mandy: Civil Engineer
Mandy Abu Kombouz is 27 years old, veiled, proud, and the only female Palestinian engineer on one of USAID and Anera’s project sites in Gaza. Mandy serves as the safety/office engineer, and is on a mission with purpose: to inspire young female students to break traditional gender roles and realize their full potential, even in male-dominated professions.
Speaking of her career journey, Mandy says, “I was determined to show everyone that they are wrong and women are equal, just as capable, and can be just as good or even better.”
Meet Aya: Nursing Student
Aya is a 27-year-old nursing student trainee living in Rashidieh Palestinian Refugee Camp in Lebanon. After learning about Anera’s partnership with local technical institutes, Aya applied for a scholarship and began her three-year vocational training program in nursing.
“My goal is to help people.” Says Aya, “Once I started my internship, I realized the importance of what I was studying and practicing as a nurse.”
Meet Hanan: Mechanical Engineer
Hanan is a 19-year-old mechanical engineering student enrolled in Anera’s UNICEF-supported training program in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. She wants to enhance her skill set and become a role model for girls who share her passion for all things mechanical.
“In our society, everyone sees mechanical engineering as a male profession,” Hanan says, “but I reject that bias and say every person should be able to pursue any career regardless of gender.”
Meet Sara’: Computer Programmer
Sara’ is a 23-year-old Syrian in Lebanon with a bachelor degree in informational technology. She decided to enroll in one of Anera’s computer programming courses after struggling to find a job after graduating, which had an impact on her mental health.
“For me, bettering my mental health meant finding a purpose. So I focused on my technical skills — and one of the things I did was to join this course.”
Her self-esteem improved knowing that she is contributing to society through teaching children coding. Sara’ is generating income to support herself and her family and is on her way towards recovery.
Anera is working with families in Jerash Palestinian refugee camp to provide a sustainable source of food security amid high prices and food scarcity.
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