Conformity to traditional cultural beliefs and societal expectations have contributed significantly to gender gaps in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM fields in Africa, according to a new study conducted by the Nairobi-based African Academy of Sciences.
The recently published study, Factors which Contribute to or Inhibit Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics in Africa, highlights how social environment, gender discrimination and girls’ low self-assessment have being powerful barriers that prevent African women and girls from increasing their representation in STEM careers.
So far, women account for 31.3% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s researchers. According to the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, a collaborator of the African Academy of Sciences, Africa is off-target in the global aspiration of empowering women and girls.
According to Allen Mukhwana, research systems manager at the African Academy of Sciences, the lower number of women in research in Africa is reflected in their participation in university education.
Datasets from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) indicate that some of...