The challenges Experienced by Women Working at Science Field in Mena Region

Dr Ghada Amer
Posted September 13, 2015 from Egypt

One day, I saw my father depressed being teased for not having a son boy. In Muslim societies, a family that doesn’t have a boy, is a family that would discontinue, it is like being in lack of honor. “I went to my father and I asked him: why everyone is asking you where is your son?. Why our community does not prefer girls?”. “He answered: because our community believes that boys bring honor and preserves the family name. I replied: do not worry dad, I will bring you honor and preserve your name.” Sine that day, and I decided to go for everything challenging that our community keeps for man-gender only.

I know women had double responsibility than men; I care for all housewife and mother practices, yet keep my eye on recognition and honor.

And after many years of hard work, I get a lots of positions and recognations such as; head of electrical engineering department- Benha university, the department which contains about 60 staff, most them men, The first science and technology advisors for Benha university, also named as ideal mother at 2009, Benha University, The vice president of Arab science and technology foundation ASTF, in 2014 I ranked as the first leading lady in the list of 50 most prominent leader of the Arab woman in 2014 issued by the Sayidaty magazine, also named by Arabian Business magazine as “one of Top World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women for the year”.

Comments 13

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Stephanie A
Sep 14, 2015
Sep 14, 2015

Ghada,

Wow! When hearing that your community prefers boys over girls you could have been discouraged and you could have decided to follow what your community believed was your role. Instead, you chose to challenge yourself and in turn challenge the gender norms of your community. It is incredible that you have accomplished so much, and it sounds to me like you have brought great honor to your family! I look forward to reading more from you and learning from your depth of experiences and knowledge.

Best, 

Dr Ghada Amer
Sep 16, 2015
Sep 16, 2015

many thanks Stephanie , absolutely, my father always telling me, that he never thought that; his name will be in the international scale as the good work i did, and people who always used to make him sad, now they came to congrats him, and everywhere they mention my story as success story for the girls in their family

yours

ghada

Mukut
Sep 15, 2015
Sep 15, 2015

Way to go Ghada! Good job.That is how it is done.The glass ceiling shattered, nothing stopping us from reaching the stars. So happy to read your inspiring journey here. Continue to shine girl, you are at the right place! We all are cheering for you.

Love,

Dr Ghada Amer
Sep 16, 2015
Sep 16, 2015

thank you for your very kind and inspiring words Mukut Ray, its my pleasure to be among all of you sharing my journy

all love

ghada

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Sep 17, 2015
Sep 17, 2015

Woow Dr. Ghada,  You have surely showed your comminuty that girls are far much better than boys.Your example will inspire many young girls in your country and encourage them to aim higher in life. Well done you hae surely made your father proud.

God bless you

Dr Ghada Amer
Sep 19, 2015
Sep 19, 2015

many thanks for these inspiring words, I'm very happy to know all of you, and to fine way to make your life better

all respects

ghada

DeborahEdward
Sep 20, 2015
Sep 20, 2015

Dear Ghada Amer,

I was just visiting the science fair at our local science and technology museum and noticing how many more boys were participating than girls. It is great to know about you - about how you have become such a leader in the field of science and how you have brought honor to your family. Your hard work and commitment to a challenging field is an inspiration to girls everywhere, and in particular in your community. International honors - that's very special!  What kinds of talents or attributes helped you climb these ladders?

Emily V
Sep 21, 2015
Sep 21, 2015

Ghada, thanks so much for your story!  It is wonderful to hear that you had the determination to do what you love, and that you overcame the barriers in society to achieve success in the “non-traditional” field of science and technology.  It is also great to hear that your accomplishments were recognized by those who may have not believed such things were possible from a woman, and that you are now a success story for others.  You are proof that a woman can bring honor to her family, and many young girls can look to you for inspiration to follow their dream.  I wondered, have you found that it is difficult to work in a field that is mainly men, or have you found acceptance among your colleagues?  Thanks again, I really enjoyed hearing how you were motivated to prove the value of women, and honor your family name.   -Emily

Claudia Ashah
Sep 23, 2015
Sep 23, 2015

Ghada,

Am so proud of you.

First, any woman in your position in terms of the family situation would have probably given up because of pressure; she would have probably just accepted the norm of women are supposed to be just housewives and nothing more or prabably not tried to achieve anything because the society has no expectations of women other than to become wives and mothers. You did not stick within that box.

Second, to go after one of the most "feared" fields by women of technology.....AMAZING! You have proved that one can be whatever they wish to be if one works at it. yo wanted to prove that a woman is capable of being much more and you have.

Thirldy, CONGRATULATIONS on all your achievements.

Question:- with all that you have achieved so far, how are you planning to use your platform to reach out and empower other girls who maybe in the same position that you once were as you were growing up?

Regards,

Claudia.

Dr Ghada Amer
Sep 27, 2015
Sep 27, 2015

Dear Claudia

many thanks for your very nice words and encouragement, for your "great" question, i will keep telling all women that they can achieve what we need, if we focus in our goals, i will advise them, train them and to explain to them how they can use their talent and technology to change their life and the whole worlds

yours

ghada

Mary Morgan
Oct 02, 2015
Oct 02, 2015

Ghada,

do you have any advice regarding how you were able to perservere and continue succeeding for so many years? Do you still experience gender related issues in your professional life?

Dr Ghada Amer
Oct 02, 2015
Oct 02, 2015

Dear Marycait

i keep working, even when i face problems, i tried to overcome them by thinking positively and yes I'm still facing problems, such as that they always prefer men, so you work so hard to prove your self,

they community always look for women as less profissional, and all leadership positions not for her

Pushpa Achanta
Jan 26, 2016
Jan 26, 2016

Dear sister,

Wonderful to hear of your courageous determination. You probably know that many in India also prefer having sons - fortunately, my parents raised me and my sister without gender bias. Btw, I'm a computer science engineer turned journalist and trainer :)

Best wishes for your continued success.

Love,

Pushpa