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Women in Science: Developing Countries

women in science
The role women play in the world’s technology and science movements has become increasingly prominent. Years ago, this field was primarily only led by men. Although education for women in general has improved in recent years, it still remains a problem around the globe.

A UNICEF study that researched the barriers to primary education revealed that 75 percent of children who are out of primary schools have mothers who did not receive any education, due in large part to poverty. In Asia, the Middle East and Africa, that number has risen to 80 percent of children who are out of primary school. This project reveals the importance of getting girls into education and supporting them in doing so.

In developing countries, women play an essential role in making change to communities. Mahatma Ghandi once said, “When a man is educated, an individual is educated; when a woman is educated, a family and a country are educated.” Historically, women have played a minor role in science-related fields, but many countries are making efforts to change that precedent.

Supporting women in science through funding, programs and scholarships is essential to building the next generation of women leaders and increasing science literacy in developing countries. Here are three nations creating increased opportunities for women in science, agriculture and technology:

1. South Sumatra (Indonesia):

Indonesia’s national program, Warintek Multipurpose Community Telecenters, focuses on promoting sustainable development through science and technology for women farmers located in South Sumatra. The program provides a variety of informational kiosks, available in both distance and in-person forms, for women to utilize regarding any farming needs of their local areas. In large part, the education aims to provide information on successful marketing and sustainable farming.

2. Burkina Faso:

Through the UNESCO Chair, Women, Science, and Development in Africa, the country is working to provide informal programs on health, water supplies, management and agriculture. University professors and students work in conjunction with women in communities, discussing topics and building relationships. The country has also connected with universities in other countries.

3. China:

The Women and Gender Development through the College of Rural Development at China Agricultural University is working to promote discussions on gender roles in agriculture and farming.

– Julia Thomas

Sources: Inter Academic Council, UNESCO, China Agricultural University, TWAS
Photo: Unesco