Confronting the societal bias against women in science

Confronting the societal bias against women in science

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...
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The impact of society on girls’ involvement in STEM.

The impact of society on girls’ involvement in STEM.

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...
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