Cultural barrier, low support base factors against women in technical fields, says group
Coordinator, Women in Technical Education and Development (WITED), Yaba College Technology chapter, Dr. Oluseun Popoola has identified cultural barriers and low support base as factors limiting women from attaining their full potentials in technical fields.
Popoola, who spoke at the first WITED conference in Lagos, said instead of encouraging women to pursue career choice in technical education, the traditional belief that they are women has been at the root of why fewer girls study these courses.
She said: “We are still relegating women to the traditional role of keeping the home. Women do not have enough support to encourage them to become who they aspire to be. Also, there exist biases in terms of their physical strength as they are seen as weaker vessels. Most women do not have mentors, which is one of the reasons why WITED has come to stay.”
“WITED provides a forum for women to come together and help one another to attain goals, especially in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).
She said the challenges of gender and sustainable development can be overcome when every male sees the empowerment of women as a process of empowering the nation.
Rector, Yaba College of Technology, Obafemi Omokungbe, in his address at the event, themed, “Gender and sustainable development goals in Africa: Challenges and progress”, said sustainable development cannot be achieved in Africa if half of the population are not carried along in the development process.
Omokungbe said promoting effective participation of women in the management of African resources would help in addressing the continent’s challenges.
Secretary-General, Commonwealth Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (CAPA), Mrs. Jahou Faal, said women are still not equitably represented at the top, pointing out that there are more male students in technical colleges and universities than female students.
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