The role of women in society has changed over time and over cultures. There are cultures where women play a pivotal role in the community, while there are cultures where women are perceived as second class citizens. Despite the fact that they have always had to fight their way in what is largely a man's world, women have always made their mark in all aspects of society, no less in science.
Through the ages, women have had to go through a struggle as their role in society kept changing. The role always determined by the self fulfilling prophecies of men. On the mezzanine floor of society, never on the same floor as men! But despite this disparity women have always played an important role in science.
The path of scientific discovery and innovation is marked with the achievements of exceptional women scientists. Unlike most men, women have also always had the added pressure of gender bias against them.
Women have a natural association with healing and nurturing, and were revered and worshipped in many ancient cultures for their power to bear offspring. There is evidence of women playing an important role in the field of medicine and healing since ancient times.
We still live in a largely inequitable world, where women are still considered to be inferior to men in certain aspects. While we have come a long way, statistics show that the work place, no matter which field it is, is largely a male oriented arena.