The initiative, which has seen over 800 girls trained so far, seeks to bridge the wide gender gap and lack of diversity that has persisted in the above fields.
Dubbed ‘She Affirms’, the acceleration programme seeks to increase the representation of girls in STEM related fields by enlisting the support of fellow women, local teachers, parents and the community as agents of change.
“This programme has shown us that by working together, women and girls can remove the obstacles they face in pursuing careers as change makers, inventors and entrepreneurs and the private sector is uniquely placed to accelerate this change,” said Unga wa Dola head of digital Lucy Nasidai.
Dola has committed extensive resources to support collaborations with women and young girls in a bid to narrow the gender-gap and to contribute to building a more inclusive innovative ecosystem.
Worldwide, female students represent just 35 percent of all the students enrolled in STEM- related fields, with research showing an alarming gender disparity in the enrolment and retention of female students in STEM fields in Kenya.
According to Kenya’s Ministry of Education, despite great strides made in girl child education in the past decade, the number of female students in STEM related fields is remarkably low.
In sub-Saharan Africa according to the Brookings Institute, between a mere 18 to 31 percent of science researchers are women, compared to 49 percent in Southeast Europe and in the Caribbean; 44 percent in Central Asia and Latin America; and 37 percent in the Arab States.
Without a huge investment in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education, Africa will not achieve the goals the African Union has laid out in her 2063 agenda.
“Given the complexity facing the developing world, economic growth, and improvements in the standard of living, Kenya will continue to rely of technological advancements and cooperation, which is why we need all hands-on deck,” she added.
Tapping on the power of affirmations, the “She Affirms” integrated campaign trained young girls and women on advancing their ambitions and voice to empower more women to push for a more equal society.