It is evidenced that low levels of educational attainment, especially among women represents a very serious constraint on development in most African countries. In Nigeria, popularly referred to as the giant of Africa, several reasons culminate in low literacy rate among women. One of these is that most parents especially in the rural communities are biased in favor of the education of their sons at the expense of the daughters. Poverty, early marriage, teenage pregnancy, inadequate school infrastructure, cultural and religious misinterpretation are other contributors.
Globally, it has become very clear that education is crucial for breaking gender stereotypes. Girls and boys choose high school subjects and university courses based on traditional gender roles. By breaking gender gap in school enrollment and career choices, there will be improvement in quality of life across Nigeria, poverty will be alleviated, families will be well planned and reduced human trafficking.
Apart from the general barriers of cultural norms and practice faced by girls in STEM, studies have shown that girls from poor families, living in rural or educationally underserved communities are at a disadvantage in gaining access to quality education and completing their tertiary education. Increased awareness programs on enrolling more women into STEM and ICT fields are mostly targeted towards girls in urban areas while those in remote areas are neglected.
The quest to help the girl child in disadvantaged communities develop their full academic potentials and make them understand that gender is not a barrier to their wellbeing and career advancement especially in the STEM fields gave birth to Women’s Dignity Initiative Inc.
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