NGO to Conduct Research on Girls’ Low Interest in Science, Mathematics


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Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative (EWEI), an NGO, says it will conduct research on factors affecting female students’ choices to study Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in higher institutions.


The organisation’s Programme Officer, Ms Grace Isah, made this known in a statement in Kaduna on Tuesday to commemorate the 2020 International Day of Women and Girls in Science (IDWGS).


Isah said that the research would be conducted among 1,000 final year secondary school girls in five local government areas of Kaduna State.


She explained that the aim was to uncover factors encouraging or discouraging girls from choosing STEM-related fields of study in higher institutions.


“The study is designed to inform government at all levels, policymakers, the general public, and development partners on factors preventing young girls from studying science and technology-based elated disciplines in higher institutions.


“It will also help in promoting equal access to science and technology-based disciplines for women and girls and create the needed gender equality and empowerment for women and girls,” she said.


The officer said that EWEI would work closely with partners, state actors, parents and community members throughout the study and make the findings public on Feb. 11, 2021.


According to her, science and innovation bring life-changing benefits, especially for those left behind, particularly women and girls living in remote areas, the elderly and people with disabilities.


“Studying science-related discipline will also ensure decent jobs of the future and also create a market for women’s innovative ideas and products.


“But currently, only 30 per cent of researchers worldwide were women, and only 35 per cent of all students enrolled in STEM-related fields of study are women.


“Also, female students’ enrolment in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) disciplines globally is three per cent.

“Similarly, girls studying natural science, mathematics and statistics, constitute only five per cent, while those studying engineering, manufacturing and construction were only eight per cent.”


Isah reiterated EWEI’s commitment to promoting the advancement of women and girls in science through its Educational Subsidy Programme.


She said that through the programme, EWEI is supporting adolescent girls to complete their secondary school education and provide them with a six-month internship at the NGO while they await their enrolment into higher institutions.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that EWEI, a Kaduna-based NGO was founded in 2008 to provide multi-sectoral interventions towards the empowerment of girls and women.


The organisation is empowering women and young girls in Kaduna State through enlightenment, capacity building, information dissemination, advocacy and community service projects.

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