This December, BSI foundation aims to raise awareness of the need for post-secondary education in STEM fields for young women from developing countries!
As of 2012, women account for 49.6% of the world’s total population. The continued progress and success of nearly half of the world’s population is dependent on giving them the right to education and equal access to opportunities. Despite the various social, economical and technological progresses made in the 21st century, girls’ education and women’s empowerment still remains a privilege that they must fight for. Two-thirds of the world’s 774 million adult illiterates are women. In more than 20 developing countries, illiteracy rates amongst women exceed 70%. In the developing nations of Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, girls are routinely denied the basic right to education as a result of economic problems, cultural stigma, gender bias, religious restrictions and oppressive laws; the result is a never-ending cycle of poverty!
More than 1.3 billion worldwide live in extreme poverty — living on less than $1.25 a day. History has shown time and again that educating girls provides untold benefits to the economies of nations. In many cases, changes in cultural attitudes and the legal status of women have resulted in economic benefits that bring in positive incremental changes in reducing poverty around the world. An extra year of primary school can boost a woman’s future earning by 15%. The return to a year of secondary school education for girls correlates to a 25% increase in wages later in their lives. Girls who get an education earn higher wages, have fewer unwanted pregnancies, marry later, and support healthier and more affluent families. Educated women and girls are also less vulnerable to HIV infection, human trafficking and other forms of exploitation. Like the proverbial rising tide, the flood of newly educated citizens, inevitably lifts all boats.
In today’s competitive global market however, just receiving an education may not be enough to land a job, bring in the required economic development and completely eradicate the cycle of poverty. There is huge demand for workers with STEM skills in all careers. By 2018, 75% of the fastest growing occupations would require significant STEM skills and there would be 2.4 million unfilled job vacancies in the most influential occupations. Despite such a huge demand for STEM workers and vast availability of job opportunities, a profound lack of interest and other restraints have prevented women from choosing STEM Currently, a mere 15% of all STEM jobs are occupied by women. In a survey conducted by BDE on our social media pages as well as prior to the STEM workshop, many girls indicated that they are not aware of what STEM is and those that were aware, said they were told it is a man’s world. Their voices and words are a reflection of the mental barriers that society has imposed on them. Through our projects, BSI hopes to fill the void between jobs available and lack of skilled workers in STEM Our projects are aimed at bridging the gap in gender inequality and positively impact the number of women in STEM through inspiring, motivating and providing them the necessary educational resources.
BSI believes that STEM education for young girls particularly in developing countries is crucial to breaking the cycle of poverty because-
STEM education will empower women by opening up an array of job opportunities in influential and advanced occupations around the world.
Women in STEM fields earn 33% more than those that choose other careers. An increased earning potential not only results in the economic development of their communities and countries but also promotes gender equality.
Studies have shown that more than 70% of a woman’s income goes towards her family. Increased income through STEM careers means women will be more capable of providing for their families particularly for the education of their children, health care and other social issues that would otherwise exist in poverty.
So giving young women the gift of education and driving their interest in STEM fields is crucial to maximizing human resources, improving economic conditions and, more importantly, empowering women and eradicating poverty.
You can help BDE raise awareness to the cause and implement direct solutions that address these key issues. Your support is crucial to the progress of BDE as an organization.
This is how you can help us:
- DONATE (Every $25 that you give, sponsors 1 STEM learning tool and helps us drive the interest of at least 1 girl in STEM fields).
- Spread the message (Share/ like our posts, forward our emails, tell your friends and acquaintances about our cause).
- Connect us with companies or other organizations that might be interested in collaborating with us or lending their time and money to support our mission.
- Volunteer with us and show your support.
Visit our website www.benignantsteminnov.org to learn more about how you can help!