The Inspiring Stories of West Papua’s Women in Science and Technology

Many Women in science and technology come from West Papua

Women in science and technology may still be limited in certain areas, including in West Papua. However, despite the gap in gender equality rights, several inspiring Papuan women excel in their respective fields. Their stories will leave you in awe due to their fights, persistence, and determination to achieve their dreams despite all the difficulties. 

Let’s get to know some of the extraordinary Papuan women in science and technology in the following.  

List of West Papua Women in Science and Technology

The science and tech industry is well known for being mostly male-dominated. Now, extraordinary women are impacting science and technology despite the challenges of being a minority in the field.

Despite the ongoing efforts to establish qualified human resources in West Papua, the following stories of strong Papuan women are amazing.  

1. Yane Oktovina Ansanay – The First Female Doctor of Physics

Yane Oktovina Ansanay is one of the women in science and technology from West Papua

Yane not only received her Ph.D. degree in 2015 but also won a Graduates Research Assistant-Ph. D Candidate scholarship from the North Carolina State University, USA. The fact that she studies abroad does not make her forget her homeland. She then founded the Inspiring Young Papua Movement (PMI) foundation. 

The government assigned her to establish the first integrated science laboratory in West Papua [1]. She is now among the famous women in science in West Papua and Indonesia, too.

2. Chorlance Adriana Demetou – The First Doctor with Scholarships

Ria, as this young woman is called, was born in Keerom district, West Papua, and studied medicine at Bengkulu University through an Affirmation of Higher Education (ADik) scholarship. 

She knows how to study hard to continue her studies at university. She is now undertaking a Medical Internship Program in Wamena where she educates the locals so they are willing to check their health regularly [2].

3. Caroline Cory Kayame – the First Female Pilot

From 2007-2009, this amazing Papuan woman attended flight school in Lilydale, Australia, to be a female pilot. Her training place was the MAF (Mission Aviation Fellowship). Cory was born in Paniai district in 1986 as the first female pilot from West Papua. 

She has safely flown and landed a Cessna Caravan PK ICY aircraft from Nabire airport to Paniai’s Enarotali airport. This was the most emotional moment for her due to the local’s response to her work. Tens of Papuan women dressed in traditional attire hugged, kissed, and welcomed her in tears due to knowing a female pilot who flew the aircraft [3]

This amazing woman believes that whenever a person has good intentions, God will help and open a way. Cory is now among the inspiring Papuan women in technology.

4. Martha Ztiennov Itaar, The First Papuan Female Pilot in Citilink Airlines

Martha enrolled at Nelson Aviation College, New Zealand, in 2014 because she received West Papua’s Special Autonomy Funds (Otsus) scholarships. She won the best pilot award for international students (Best All-round Flying Performance for International Students). 

She also gets several certifications, such as Private Pilot License, Commercial Pilot License, and Multi-Engine Instrument Rating. She has taken a flight permit standardization before working with Citilink Airlines[4].

5. Vanda Astri Korisano, The First Papuan Female Pilot in Garuda Indonesia Airways

There are many women in science and technology from West Papua, one of them is Vanda Astri Korisano

Vanda has a similar education, scholarships, experience, and licenses as Martha because they attend the school together.  However, Vanda joined pilot training at Garuda Indonesia Training Centre (GITC) as its legal pilot[5].

5. Naniek Ramandey – Female Minegem Heavy Equipment Operator

Naniek works for PT. Freeport Indonesia in Tembagapura District, West Papua province, as a Minegem operator with a remote-control instrument. She admits that her job is challenging because she has to work 12 hours a day and requires a special license[6].  

She may not be among the famous women in technology, but she proves that a woman can also excel in a job dominated by men.

The Takeaway

The above inspiring stories prove that women can also do the job that men mostly do due to their dedication, discipline, hard work, and persistence.  We hope that there will be many more excellent women in science and technology when they increase their skills in achieving their ultimate dreams.