Discriminatory practices against women in many developing countries

 

Photo credit: SciDevNet

Tackle gender bias in STEM to promote growth in Africa

Speed read

  • Few African women contributes to STEM when compared with men
  • African culture encourages stereotypes that limit the potential of women in STEM
  • An expert calls for African governments to monitor policies on gender issues

Mainstreaming gender equality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) could be significant for socioeconomic development in Africa, according to experts.

The experts who attended the 2nd International day for Women and Girls in Science meeting in Kenya last month (11 February) noted that discriminatory practices against women limits the ability of many developing countries to grow and to reduce poverty.

The meeting was organised by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), National Commission for Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI) and African Women in Science and Engineering.

“There is a large gap in the contribution of women in STEM compared with the participation of men.”

Caroline Thoruwa, Kenyatta University

Roy Mugiira, director of technical services at NACOSTI, says that engendering STEM policy in African countries will create the enabling environment to promote the educational and professional success of all people irrespective of gender, race or ethnicity.

He explains that policies should be based on the guiding principles such as relevance, inclusiveness, synergy, ethical leadership and good governance.

Read the full article: SciDevNet

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Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.