IWD 2023: Leveraging STEM to Bridge Gender Inequalities among Young People

Female participation and access to teaching and learning opportunities for girls especially in developing countries is of major concern to the development of education. In Ghana, enrollment and school attendance of girls as compared to boys is disproportionately lower due to various socio economic and socio cultural factors. Governments and organizations have developed various initiatives and programs to encourage participation of girls especially within the basic education system.

In spite of the significant efforts being made to improve access to quality education, enrollment and attendance of girls, there are still many Ghanaian girls who have limited access to the educational opportunities as compared to their male counterparts.  

As society advances to becoming more technologically driven, the need for technological skills and knowledge has become relevant now more than ever. However, traditional perceptions on Science and Maths related fields being for boys have negatively impacted female participation in technological fields. Opportunities to increase access to education and technical skills for girls are increasing through intentional policies, programs and initiatives aimed at equipping more girls.

Reducing the gender gap in access to education, skills, and support in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics is also essential to ensure more female participation in these fields. Ultimately, this will help reduce the skills gap, increase the productivity and employability of women, and foster economic growth.

The DreamOval Foundation has for close to a decade provided opportunities to support access to quality education, digital skills and knowledge for girls across Ghana. The Foundation, through its initiatives, has engaged educators and students and provided STEM related knowledge, skills and resources to encourage participation of girls in STEM.

Through programs such as Girls Can Code and the Female In Tech Initiative (FEMiTi), the Foundation has provided digital skills and knowledge to girls in underprivileged communities in Ghana.

The Ghana Science & Tech Explorer Prize, a challenge prize organised by the DreamOval Foundation in partnership with Challenge Works, MEST Africa, Foundervine and DEXT Technology, to support young Ghanaians acquire STEM skills and knowledge and encourage the participation of girls in the acquisition of technical skills. Participating students develop unique solutions to problems within their communities using STEM. The programme encourages the participation of girls through the provision of mentors, coaches and resources. It was exciting to see the winners of the last Challenge being an all female team.

The DreamOval Foundation continues in its mandate to support the participation of women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Through engagements with the Ministry of Education and the Ghana Education Service, the Foundation continues to develop and implement initiatives that support the access to quality skills and education for girls. Learn more about the DreamOval Foundation and what we are doing here.

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