Rahajeng tunjungputri twitter interview agora l'oreal

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An interview by The L'Oreal Foundation published on http://agora.forwomeninscience.com

An interview by The L'Oreal Foundation published on http://agora.forwomeninscience.com

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  • 1. http://agora.forwomeninscience.com/index.php/2010/07/twitter-interview-2/# This is the second issue of the Twitter Interview. This month we had the pleasure to interview Rahajeng Tunjungputri. She has a lot of interesting things to say about how she sees women in science. Rahajeng Tunjungputri: “I’m 25 year old and I finished my medical school last year. In 2005, as a student I received a grant from Asia Europe Foundation to join Asia Europe Young Volunteers Exchange in France and Italy, which introduced me to inter-cultural communication and sparked my interest to work with international communities. I was selected for a short course in Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands, in 2007, which further exposed me to the scientific community and eventually made me want to pursue a career in research. In 2009 after graduating I served as a doctor for a small rural hospital in Matak, a remote island in Indonesia. After few months I was asked to join my school, Faculty of Medicine Diponegoro University as teaching staff and junior researcher in genetics and infectious diseases with various international collaborations. Being a physician within an international academic community has allowed me to pursue my passion for medical science, as well as my interest in inter-cultural learning and communication. In 2010 I receive Beasiswa Unggulan, a honorary scholarship from Ministry of National Education of Indonesia, to continue my research in the Netherlands. My interest is infectious diseases, global health, and advocacy for women’s health rights.” - What is your perception of the difficulties for women in science? “In my opinion, it seems like the point of conflict is between pursuing a career in science, nurturing a family and cultural expectations. It’s a blow to my stomach whenever I hear the term “career woman”, as that implies only men are normal to have careers, while it’s unusual for women. Women, especially in my culture, are traditionally expected to dedicate themselves primarily for their families. And I have seen too many instances where women have to adapt their plans in order to meet their husbands’
  • 2. women have to adapt their plans in order to meet their husbands’ expectations, falsely believing it’s what women must do. Even worse, women sometimes were put in the position where they had to choose one extreme over the other, either their career or their family life. Talented and bright women are constantly pressured to sacrifice their career and plans and not having equal voice with men in deciding what’s best for their lives together as a family. It’s almost like women have to fight against cultural expectations when they want to dedicate themselves and advance in science. I believe that successful women in science in my country are exceptional and have such a strong drive and belief in what they do, because indeed they and their progressive families have made their sacrifices.” - What does being a women bring to the scientific field ? “Women are bringing more women in this field! The field is changing as we have more leading women in science. The expectations of the field is also changing to accommodate women and their unique contributions and approach in science. We now have more female than male physicians in Indonesia, and more and more of these female physicians are drawn to research. I believe it’s not medicine that has accommodate women, but rather women who have shaped medicine in order to accommodate female researchers and practitioners in this field.” - How do you manage to make your research go with your everyday life as a woman? “At the moment I have not yet started a family of my own, so I am focusing all my time for my studies, teaching, and research. But I am well aware of the time when I will have to do a balancing act between family and a career in science. For the future I’ve considered focusing on research and teaching. Many physicians in my country spend 12-15 hours everyday working, but I will choose to limit my clinical time as a doctor, and working mainly in research and teaching which has a more convenient work hours. I will still like to have sufficient personal time with my family despite of the demands of my work.” If you to know more about her, you can read her on her blog http://dokterblog.wordpress.com and follow her on Twitter @AjengMD . Tags : Agora Indonesia Rahajeng Tunjungputri The L'Oreal Foundation twitter Twitter Interview Women in Science