In an era when lab coats were worn almost exclusively by men, Marie Curie became the first scientist—not just the first female scientist, but the first scientist—to be awarded two Nobel Prizes, one in physics and the other in chemistry. She sent a message to future generations of women that no obstacle is insurmountable.
Today’s next Madame Curie could be sitting in a high school classroom in Cairo, Jakarta, or Mogadishu, yearning for opportunities to explore her potential. The United States is determined to help give her that chance. This is why today, on Nobel Prize day, we are launching the NeXXt Scholars partnership, which will create new opportunities for women from predominantly Muslim nations to pursue world-class undergraduate educations in science, technology, engineering, and math. The State Department and USAID have joined with women’s colleges from across the United States and the New York Academy of Sciences to provide NeXXt Scholars with a New York Academy of Sciences mentor and a five-year academy membership.
Advancing opportunities for women around the globe is an issue that is important to me and a core element of my agenda as Secretary of State. By providing women with better access to educational opportunities, the NeXXt Scholars program will help arm a new generation of women to be change agents in their communities and prepare them to become the next Madame Curies. Thank you.