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On 11 February, the United Nations, partners worldwide, women and girls celebrate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The day has been put in place on 22 December 2015 by the United Nations General Assembly’s resolutions aims at promoting full and equal access to science for women and girls. In addition, the day recognises the critical role women and girls play in science and technology. 

To mark this year’s edition, Impanuro Girls Initiative, a local non-governmental organisation, talked to one of University of Rwanda’s fresh graduates and a young activist. In this exclusive interview, she tells us about her love for science and her take on the role women and girls in science could play in the fight against COVID-19. Let the questions begin…

Tell us about yourself and your scientific background…

I’m Epiphanie TUYISENGE, a recent graduate of University of Rwanda holding a Bachelor’s degree with Honor in Biochemistry. I am a transformational leader, a Pan-African activist, and a social media enthusiast. I also served as a country coordinator of YouLead Summit in Rwanda. 

Why did you choose to do science?

I chose to do science just because I love it.

What do you love most about science and who is your role model in science?

I am a person who is always curious about different things. Sometimes, I wonder why they did things while there would be other ways to do it because when you study science it gives you space to do some research. 
My role model is a woman called Marie Curie, a French physicist and chemist who carried out pioneering studies on radioactivity.

Which role do you think women/girls in science could play in the fight against COVID-19?

As we have seen, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused worldwide concern. I believe that to overcome this challenge, the world must be ruled by science rather than the beliefs of people. For this, women and girls in science should give their contribution either by making vaccines or by helping people understand guidelines for the prevention of this pandemic, based on scientific evidence.

Your message to women/girls who still think they are not good enough to do science?

Science is not just for men or boys only. Women and girls have to change their mindsets because they have the potential to be who they want to be in life. All they need is to have well-defined goals and determination.

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