Women still lag behind in science and technology

Women still lag behind in science and technology profession as compared to men, an education symposium has been told.

Gender Affairs PS Zainab Hussein says it is lamentable that since independence, Kenya has a paltry nine percent women scientists, despite the many open opportunities available today.

Zeinabu, who was opening this year’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workshop at the Machakos Girls High School, now says the only way to address the current discrepancy was to create awareness in schools to have more girls pursue science based courses.

The State Department for Gender Affairs has been at the forefront in ensuring gender equality, encouraging women to try and fit in male dominated fields. Girls should be encouraged and told that they too can make it just like the boys. It is lamentable that in the entire country only nine per cent are scientists with men taking the lion’s share, said Zeinab.

The PS who was representing Education CS, Amina Mohammed said the government would continue putting mechanisms in place that will ensure the girl child got an equal opportunity of accessing education opportunities just like his male counterpart.

The five-day workshop which brings together the counties of Kajiado, Makueni, Kitui and Machakos is being attended by 150 who have demonstrated a leaning, towards science subjects.

The camp which is also being attended by 27 Science tutors, also aims at enhancing improvement in attitude for girls towards Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in schools.

Dr. Alice Ochanda, a UNESCO official also underscored the need to encourage female students to pursue science related subjects in her address to the forum.

She noted that through such forums, the students would have a better grip on their area of study since they would be exposed to handy tips on how to tackle the subject.

This program helps prepare the student in knowing exactly what they need to take. In most cases subjects are taught in a vacuum. This program helps them to know what careers they can land in after choosing their Science courses. We are also exposing them to industrial visits to see how science is applied in industrial production of products like soaps, and oils among others, said Ochanda.

She regretted that despite girls performing well in sciences, they end up not taking science related courses at college universities.

She attributed the challenge, partly to parents who she said at times ended up discouraging their children against taking their preferred courses.

Machakos Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua is expected to close the workshop on Friday.

Source: Kenya News Agency