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City of Banjul
Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics

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A few months ago, an organization called WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) was launched in the Gambia. In attendance was Honourable Prof. Pierre Gomez, minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology. It was a great success.

The organisation brings together Gambian women in the areas of science and technology and aims to widen and/or increase the number of women in this area. Indeed, this is commendable as there is no doubt that any nation that wishes to develop must endeavor to give equal chances to girls and women as it gives to their male counterparts.

This organisation has as its mission statement the promotion of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and empower women and girls to pursue and thrive in these areas. According to their statement, this includes removing barriers, biases, and stereotypes that hinder their participation in these fields.

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The organisation seeks to create a more inclusive and diverse community in STEM where women are equally represented and valued for their contributions. One of the ways in which this organisation believes this can be achieved is to create awareness among school going girls.

They set up STEM clubs in senior secondary schools and organize outreach programmes to enlighten and encourage girls to venture in to these subject areas so as to carve a career for their future endeavors. This is commendable as girls need to be encouraged from early on so that by the time they complete senior school they have made up their minds to pursue careers in this important area.

Now that the government is seeking to move away from theoretical teaching and learning alone and shifting to skills acquisition, the arrival of an organization like WiSTEM couldn’t have come at a better time. This is the way forward for any development-oriented nation.

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The organisation needs to be supported as it is one very sure way of accelerating national development.

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