For starters, STEM is Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics. The percentage of girls who have their education and later take on careers in the same field is so minimal compared to that of the boys.

In this article, we shall be discussing some of the reasons for this trend that have their roots in society.

To begin with, stereotypes, cultural and society norms are some of the practices that dampen girls’ interest in STEM. In the minds of many young girls today especially in Uganda/Africa, doctors are men in white lab coats, and a stethoscope around their necks, engineers are men in dark blue overalls and safety boots, software programmers are the  guys with headsets on their heads always, in t-shirts or shirts with folded sleeves and paired with a pair of jeans. Where are the girls? You may be tempted to ask.

Where is the problem?

First, lets look at how kids are raised and brought up in a home setting. It is common practice that boys will get cars toys, bikes, aeroplanes, counters, computer and key board toys, you can name it. What do the girls get, Dolls!!!! Do you see how corrupt this can be to the mind even at a young age?? This alone affects how they perceive life at the end of the day. The boys will try fixing their “cars” when they break down, try to repair “computers” and build “roads” for the cars.

We all know what games the girls are playing, right? Making clothes for the dolls, bathing them, fixing their hair and applying “make up” on them, cooking for the boys that are “building the roads” Which is not a bad thing, quote me well, but it in a way limits their potential and thinking on their things they can do.

In  high school,  the Science classes are comprised of mostly boys and just a hand full of girls (feel free to look back to the school where you went). The numbers get even more less when it comes to ICT and IT classes. And guess what!!!!! the irony here is, the girls in the science class will be branded all sorts of names and referred to as not cute and styled up,  because as far as society standards the pretty girls are meant to be married to the “rich” men who are engineers, doctors, IT personnel and so forth. Thus, most girls will find it illogical to pursue the ” hard” STEM courses at the University only to graduate with good grades and then go back home to be home keepers. How sad!!!! Blame it in society.

It is high time society did away with all this stereotyping  and created an inclusive environment that encourage girls to develop their potential in STEM.

How?

From the home setting, parents should let their kids know that what a boy can do a girl can do too. As a matter of fact what a boy can do, a girl may do even better. It starts with the chores they are engaged in at home, the games they play, the toys they get.

The tendency and ideology of science subjects are for only the boys and girls can not handle because they are naturally a “weaker sex” must come to an end. This is a duty and responsibility that teachers must take up on them selves to see that the mindset of the young learners is changed at an early stage.

And for the women who have already defied the odds, congratulations!!!! The time is now for us to look out for the little youngsters, mentor them, give them the positive energy that they need. We are more so called to  excel at whatever we do because it is this that acts as an encouragement to the young girl looking up to us.

Thanks for reading on and feel free to leave your thoughts.

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