By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A group, Empowering Women for Excellence Initiative, (EWEI), is set to conduct one-year study on female students in secondary school who progress to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, (STEM) fields in higher institutions in 5 LGAs in Kaduna state
The group stated this in a statement signed by its Programme Officer, Organizational Development and Partnerships, Ms Grace Omagu, and made available to the media in Kaduna on Tuesday.
The statement also unveils the group’s very first Educational Subsidy Programme, (ESP) STEM Ambassador, Grace Okunola.
According to the group, the study would be conducted among 1,000 female students currently in Senior Secondary School three (SS3) across unspecified five Local Government Areas in the State starting on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, on February 11, 2020.
The group disclosed that the study aims to surface the contributing factors that either support or challenge the students’ expected advancement into STEM careers.
“This study is designed to inform the general public, development agencies and promote the full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
“Today, just 30 per cent of researchers worldwide are women, and only 35 per cent of all students enrolled in STEM related fields of study are women.
“Globally, female students’ enrolment is particularly low in ICT at 3 per cent, natural science, mathematics and statistics 5 per cent, and in engineering, manufacturing and construction 8 per cent.
“Science and innovation can bring life-changing benefits, especially for those who are furthest behind such as women and girls living in remote areas, the elderly and people with disabilities.
“Science will also be essential for decent work and jobs of the future, including in the green economy, and it can create a market for women’s innovative ideas and products,” it stated.
EWEI has exhibited it commitment to promoting the advancement of women and girls in science through its ESP supporting adolescent girls to complete their secondary education and providing a six-month internship as they await their enrolment into higher institutions.
“Our very first ESP STEM Ambassador, Grace Okunola, is a great example of this commitment and this study is a further step in strengthening EWEI’s efforts to inform for action.
“EWEI will work closely with partners, state actors, parents and communities throughout the implementation of the study and will publish the study’s findings on the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in 2021,” the statement further reads.
EWEI is a Non-Governmental Organization founded in 2008, whose mission is to provide multi-sectoral interventions towards the empowerment of girls and women.
EWEI works towards empowering women through Capacity Building, Information Dissemination, Advocacy and Cross Cutting Community Service Projects.