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We should encourage more girls into STEM – Upper East Regional GNAT-LAS Coordinator

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In a world driven by rapid technological advancements and global challenges, the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields cannot be overstated.

However, these critical disciplines continue to face a persistent gender gap, with women being underrepresented in STEM careers.

This is the reason the Upper East Regional Ghana National Association of Teachers Ladies Society (GNAT-LAS) Coordinator, Eunice Awuvafoge, is calling for a concerted effort to encourage more girls to pursue these fields, recognizing the immense benefits it can bring to society.

But to begin with, girls have to be encouraged to have a basic education. She made the call when she spoke to A1 Radio’s Mark Smith.

“Girls were not given the opportunity to be educated. We must allow girls to be educated to the highest level to be able to compete favorably with men. We should also encourage women to pursue STEM,” she said.

According to Ms. Awuvafoge, the culture and traditions in the Upper East Region make it particularly difficult for girls to be educated.

“In our traditions, girls are not educated because they say that if you educate a girl, you are going to build someone else’s home. They prefer to educate the men rather than the girls so that they can come back and build their father’s house.”

Encouraging girls to explore STEM disciplines is not only about closing the gender gap but also about empowering them to reach their full potential. “STEM disciplines cultivate critical thinking, problem-solving, and analytical skills that are invaluable in various aspects of life,” Ms. Awuvafoge said.

Efforts to promote girls’ interest in STEM are gaining momentum worldwide, with initiatives ranging from mentorship programs and coding camps to educational campaigns challenging gender stereotypes.

Ghana has implemented various policies and initiatives to promote STEM education and encourage more girls to pursue STEM fields. This includes the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy, the National Gender Policy, the Free Senior High School Education Policy, the establishment of STEM clinics, and the National Science and Math Quiz Competition.

Others are Better Education Service Delivery for All (BESDA) initiative, Girls Can Code Initiative, mentorship and scholarship programs offered by organizations like the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) and Mastercard Foundation.

Ms. Awuvafoge’s comments were made as Ghana joined the world to celebrate International Women’s Day.

International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8th, is a global observance that honors the achievements of women across cultural, political, and socioeconomic spheres. Originating from the early 20th century labor movements campaigning for women’s rights, voting rights, and gender equality, it has evolved into a pivotal platform to raise awareness about persisting issues impacting women worldwide. Through rallies, events, and the UN’s annual theme, International Women’s Day unifies international efforts to empower women, challenge gender biases, and advocate for equal opportunities, ultimately driving progress toward a more equitable society.

Source: A1Radioonline.com|101.1MHz|Mark Kwasi Ahumah Smith|Ghana

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