Three reasons why we need to increase African girls’ participation in the sciences
Technology is a development priority – Increasingly girls’ education is viewed as a strategic development priority in Africa. For example, donor countries such as the UK are investing in technological innovations that will improve girls’ education in low-income countries
Success in STEM creates Jobs – Yet there is a clear need to improve the participation of girls in science education, training and research at all levels on the continent, success in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) provides access to paid jobs in these fields, which are both fast growing and highly paid. The inspirational HE Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, who was a distinguished bioscientist before becoming President of Mauritius, is a shining example of the value of pursuing scientific education. What’s more, Africa is at a crossroads in its development where it desperately needs citizens with high-level scientific and technical skills to address its greatest challenges.
Women bear the impact of climate change – It’s also important to point out that issues such as climate change and food insecurity have a disproportionate effect on women and children. More female scientists and researchers could ensure that innovations squarely address the needs of women. We must work hard to combat the traditional gender stereotypes that are preventing young African girls from immersing themselves in STEM subjects. Gender prejudices are not only holding girls and women back, they are also holding the entire continent back
From 18th-21st July, the PEI Foundation hosted ‘ Future Women Leaders in STEM Week’, a four-day programme for 100 female secondary school students in Mauritius as part of the Planet Earth Institute Foundation’s “Science and Technology Enrolment Programme (STEP)”, in partnership with the Medine Education Village. We are grateful to our Educational Resources Partner, Mauritius Commercial Bank, as well as to WiseOceans, Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre and Northfields International School. Visit our website for the round up.