International Day of Women & Girls in Science (11th February, 2019)

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Science (from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe. It is believed that science first begun in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3500 to 3000 BCE. They contributed  to mathematics, astronomy, and medicine and shaped Greek natural philosophy of classical antiquity, they tried to explain events of the physical world based on natural causes.

In recent years there has been a great drive to encourage women to embrace science and even enroll in science subject and courses. It was noted that there was scarcity of women researcher worldwide.

When there is gender balance, in that equal output of women and men is achieved in the field of science then this could;

  • Lead to unforeseen breakthroughs as having both gender experts can provide diverse approaches and ideas.
  • Contribute to intersectional perspectives leading to the understanding of structural dimensions and privileges.
  • Encourage women involvements in research also allow prioritizing of different research issues and solving existing research questions in novel ways.
  • Allow innovative technologies that are equally used by both genders and this could make it possible which to result in responsiveness to the needs of individuals of both genders.

In Kenya there is a shortage of women in the science field. This is a result of girls not taking up STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects early in their schooling years. Many girls shy away from science subject and prefer to enroll in Arts subjects. The government noted this and has taken measures to rectify the situation in order to make the STEM subject more attractive to girls by;

  • Changing how it is taught
  • Increase interest among high school girls
  • Retain those who are into STEM
  • Encourage research culture

Parents should take it upon themselves to encourage their girl children to love STEM subjects and introduce them to role models who can mentor and encourage them to love science.

Compiled by Grace C. Sitienei – University of Nairobi Library

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