STEM: Girls and women are just as capable as their male counterparts

photo

Girls in ICT during the 3rd Annual Ms Geek competition in Kigali on April 30. (Courtesy)

Editor,

RE:Women are Africa’s most precious resource, let’s empower them” (The New Times, May 11).

Thumbs up to Cherie Blair for the work you do with women, especially in Rwanda. I cannot congratulate Rwanda enough for providing a safe haven for women.

I am a female architect (they call us engineers) and feel really fortunate to live and work in Rwanda. What the world needs to be aware of is that different undertakings on encouraging Rwandan girls to take up STEM courses are cooking: the recently concluded Ms. Geek 2016 showcased the power of girls in ICT; a parallel group, FemEng, is sending a group of girls from the university of Glasgow’s engineering school to Rwanda for three weeks in June to encourage more girls to take up technological careers; at the University of Rwanda, I am the coordinator of “akagoroba”, which is an association of girls in architecture seeking to mentor them and work together to inspire more girls into joining architecture.

Statistics show that such efforts have resulted in more girls joining what was previously considered a ‘boys’ club’.

Therefore, what needs to happen more is have more synergies, create more women mentors, have more people reaching out to girls and women out there who need to be listened to and inspired.

And to women interested in STEM, we must unapologetically live up to our dreams; those ahead of us have done it and proven it is possible.

Josephine Malonza