I am Generation Equality: Dilnaz Kamalova, advocate for girl’s empowerment in ICT

Date: Wednesday, April 21, 2021

I am Generation Equality
Dilnaz Kamalova is a winner of international competitions, and child rights and girl’s empowerment advocate from Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo: Personal archives
Dilnaz Kamalova is a winner of international competitions, and child rights and girl’s empowerment advocate from Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo: Personal archive.

I am Generation Equality because…

Three actions you can take to be part of Generation Equality:

  • Educate yourself about gender equality
  • Share the knowledge you gain with people around you
  • Icon- a girl raises her arm
  • Dare to dream about a better future

I believe that every girl deserves the chance to unlock her potential and to live a life without barriers. Unfortunately, not every girl is as lucky as me to have opportunities to develop their interests and get the necessary knowledge and skills. Thanks to the robotics classroom at my school, my teachers and supportive friends, I was able to achieve good results. I have met so many nice people who encouraged me throughout the last few years and were very friendly to me in general. Although there is a particular phrase that I do not like or I agree with. It is when people say to me that I am “not like other girls”. I find it offensive as it implies that girls are not smart. This is simply not true, and that is why I cannot accept it as a complement. I am a girl, a lucky one, and I do not like people generalizing women and girls based on stereotypes that were created for us. 

I am sure that with opportunities, a supportive environment, and no gender stereotypes, girls can reach their full potential and make their dreams come true. It is vital that we, girls, support each other on this journey.

Encourage girls and women to pursue their dreams and choose the professions they want

If I had a superpower, I wish that it was the ability to see the future of girls and tell them that they actually succeed if they chose what they really want. I would also tell them that they shouldn’t have doubts about their abilities and to pursue their dream careers. When choosing a profession, many girls do not even know that they can go for technology or engineering. I believe technologies are one of the most effective tools for making change, so more girls need to be encouraged to use IT for their own benefits and the development of the societies they live in.

SDG color stripe

“Every girl deserves the chance to unlock her potential and to live a life without barriers.”
SDG color stripe

When I joined the robotics class at my school, I lacked confidence and was quite scared, it almost stopped me from pursuing my goal. It is difficult to understand, if you have not experienced it, but it is actually very difficult for girls to join classes full of boys. Looking back now, I think it was the best decision of my life and a courageous one as well. I teamed up with the few other girls in the class – we supported each other, worked hard, and achieved our first wins in science and technology together. There were moments, when we felt uncomfortable because of different comments from our classmates, friends and sometimes even parents, because they questioned our commitment to our work. It took us some time to prove that they were wrong.

During the last few years, I worked hard with a team of girls at my school on a pill box that sends notifications and a mobile application that provides reminders, as well as enabling communication between medical personnel, patients and loved ones. We also created a virtual 3D game with augmented reality elements aimed at solving environmental problems. I wish that getting an education and having resources and opportunities to choose a dream profession was a reality for all girls in my country and worldwide. I know what fear and self-doubt feels like. If you are feeling that way right now, please don’t be scared and dare to dream about a better future. 

  

Dilnaz Kamalova, 17, is a winner of international competitions, and a children rights and girl’s empowerment advocate from Almaty, Kazakhstan. In 2019, together with her team of girls at school, she was one of the TOP-20 finalists at the Google Science Fair at their Headquarters in California. Recently, she got an offer to study at Harvard University.

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