Women have continued to lag behind in terms of education and independence, all because of bad policies and cultural norms. Culturally, boys are given better chances of education than girls.
In a home where parents are financially constrained, they will use the meager resources they have to educate boys as the girls remain home to do household chores and are eventually married off to get bride price. And with those who get the opportunity to go on with school, fewer have been joining sciences. But are we seeing this changing? Perhaps yes, as statistics may confirm to us.
Already, there have been improvements with respect to girl enrolment currently at an average of 30 percent in non-physical science and about 10 percent for mathematics, physics and engineering. Government initiatives At a recent forum in Dar es Salaam under the auspices of UNESCO, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry for Community Development, Gender and Children, Ms Mijakazi Mtengwa painted a picture of optimism, noting that even as girls faced cultural barriers, more were now pursuing science subjects.
Explaining, she said that potential future scientists are lost in the transition from high school to college, in the transition from college to graduating at school, and in the transition from gaining a doctorate to getting a job. Ms Mtengwa was speaking at the Women in Science Workshop for ministries, independent departments, government agencies and private sector where a Women In Science Reference Group in Tanzania has been formed under the support by UNESCO.