On one hand, female education especially in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields in Africa is suffering due to poverty and cultural perceptions which tend to believe that women should be married off early rather than be educated. African communities are continually plagued with issues that range from socio economic deprivation, AIDS/HIV, early marriage and child labor, steeped cultural/traditional views that impede a girl’s right to education.
In STEM fields which are primarily male dominated, it is even more difficult to find African women. And yet there are certainly many of us out there who are highly capable of participating in the global innovation that is occurring in technology fields. Most girls are discouraged before they even start; many are unable to finish their education due to financial constraints.
On the other hand, the research overwhelmingly shows that educating a girl results in huge impacts on a generation and this may well lead to positive implications for a country’s GDP. When you educate a girl in Africa, she is three times less likely to get HIV/AIDS, will earn 25 percent more income and have a healthier family. According to Ban Ki-Moon, buy modafinil toronto United Nations Secretary-General, “Investing in female education is likely to prevent inter-generational cycles of poverty and yield high economic and societal returns.”
It is therefore necessary to pause and salute the work of several organizations that are beginning to work towards bridging this gender gap in STEM education in Africa. WAAW Foundation is one of the social enterprises pioneering this effort towards bringing African girls, education and technology together. Their mission is to increase the pipeline of highly qualified African women in STEM related disciplines, and working to ensure that this highly skilled female talent is engaged in African innovation. Amongst others, their programs include scholarships and girls STEM Camps.
WAAW Foundation is a strong partner in the Ashoka Changemakers she will innovate competition. This is an opportunity we all have to educate and empower women, and to employ our resources to ensure that the voices of girls are heard everywhere in the world, and that their place in society is valued.
Speak up and join WAAW Foundation and Ashoka Changemakers, and become part of this global change to empower girls everywhere, one girl at a time.