“We are extremely proud of the wonderful accomplishments of the Afghan All-Girl Robotics Team,” Afghanistan’s ambassador to the United Kingdom, Said T. Jawad, said in a statement on Wednesday. “They are an excellent example for people around the world of what can be accomplished by young Afghans if given the right support and the opportunity to excel in their education.”
While some critics argue that gender-segregated math contests send a message that women aren’t capable of competing with men, others say such competitions can be a crucial pipeline for young girls hoping to pursue STEM careers. They offer an opportunity to gain recognition in the field while forming a network of female friends and mentors with similar interests.