Astronomy Point of View on Gender Equality

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A female in a male dominated profession is challenging. I am talking about women in the Astronomy field and the negative impact it has around the world. I will refer to the difficulties women experienced when trying to pursue a career in Astronomy and relate it back to New Zealand. If I told you to think of a scientist, you would think of a male. Over the years women have been labelled incapable in science when compared to male counterparts.

They are told to stay home and be a housewife. Society back then were against women contributing to science, however some were determined to break this gender discrimination and pursue their desires. There have been many women that have contributed to scientific research and not credited for their findings, such as Mileva Marić (Einstein’s Wife). They worked on scientific theories together. Einstein was unable to get a job, Marić allowed him to publish their findings under his name to increase his chances. They later divorced, and Einstein went on to obtain the Nobel Prize money, which he split with Marić (Dombroski, 2018).

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This shows that society had an old fashion approach that men should work in science and not women. Society today has become more accepting of women in science, but it is still not gender equal. There have been 129 NASA astronauts that have flown to the International Space Station – 103 were men, 26 were women, that’s only 20% of the total. (Saralyn Mark S. G., 2014) Being a female myself, the level of expectation is low compared to male colleges. Even though society has moved forward there is always going to be gender discrimination, big or small. This may affect the work I do as an astronomer in New Zealand as employers may turn me down or deem me incapable only to employ a male. In fact, New Zealand was the first to allow women to vote and tackle gender equality. To conclude, being a female astronomer has a negative impact on how society perceives you. Labelling you as not worthy enough to be a scientist even though you work just as hard.

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