STEM – an abbreviation for science , technology, engineering and mathematics is practical form of curriculum introduced bring about project based learning. Since previous decade the STEM education has seen a marvellous growth in the globe and its importance of applications in all fields of life is inevitable. Scientists have played a significant role in STEM advancement.
Role of Women in STEM field:
‘We educate women , not because it is smart, but because it changes the world.”
~ Drew Faust.
STEM is a growing field, so the number of female workers needs to increase with it. However, the statistics speak otherwise, women make up almost half of the world’s population and work force, yet only 28% of scientists and engineers are women. This can be due to some obstacles faced by women in STEM fields e.g societal norms i.e thinking of it as a male’s field. Also, under representation of their achievements. This STEM gap leads to consequences of not having much female included in Science, tech, math fields.
STEM and Women in Pakistan:
Consisting 48% of our total population -women are pretty under rated and under represented in the fields of science and technology. The gender parity ranking in science , technology , engineering and mathematics fields for Pakistan has hit rock bottom. Apparently, there isn’t much to celebrate , yet we can look at a window of opportunity.
- Women in Engineering:
There are a few women role models for Pakistanis within science and tech industry, especially engineering. According to UNESCO institute of state, only 15.4% of female researchers in Pakistan belong to engineering sciences whereas, 38.4% of them are from medical sciences. This can be due to some typical social hindrances as engineering is pondered to be a male dominated department.
However, recently at the Lahore science Mela , the women engineers Pakistan booth recieved great attention from school going girls and their parents. This inspiration can yield to magnificent advancement in this field. Some role models like Zartaj Waseem (a software engineer) CEO and co founder of Pakistan space education centre are pioneers of teaching and learning STEM. Also, females like Ramla Qureshi ; founder of Women engineers Pakistan organization who visit schools and encourage females to take engineering as career are an important workforce for STEM in Pakistan.
- Women in Science/ Maths:
A significant number of women scientists (i.e physicists, chemists, mathematicians) work in high ranking positions in universities and research institutes of Pakistan. Though , quite low in number due to not much popularity of these fields in female population, still women get some representation in these departments . An example is Tasneem Zehra Husain a Pakistani theoretical physicist and string theorist. Some other examples include Nargis mavalvala and Talat Rahman.
- Females in Tech and science:
The world is moving towards technology , tech has grown a lot in previous two to three decades and this era is the era of technology women all around the world are playing their part in the nurturing the nations by acting as a work force needed to uplift our tech sector. Some examples include:
- Jehan Ara:
The mastermind behind PASHA Pakistan software engineers association.
The company’s major objective is the development and protection of software industry in Pakistan collaborating with companies beyond the borders to provide clients with best of the software products and seminar.
- Rabia Ghareb:
CEO of toffee TV , provides learning aid that helps children learn through stories.
- Sabeen Mehmood:
The president of TIE – The Indus entrepreneurs and now owning T2F the 2nd floor coffee. It is a platform that engages healthy discussions and debate on the current issues of Pakistan. It focuses more introducing people to areas of art and culture , Science and technology.
The number of women in Science technology and engineering is comparatively low as compared to men. Slowly , though , the numbers are increasing, with more representation and awareness. STEM females will eventually match the number of STEM males , ushering in a new era of equality.
Kmc, 2nd year MBBS.