In Pakistan, representation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects is grim as compared to their representation in medical and dental education. Advancement in science and technology is the centre of wealth in today’s world requiring STEM as the integral part of economic well-being of any country. Despite an increase in number of girls surpassing boys in matriculation and intermediate examinations over the years, still very few of them prefer STEM subject at the undergraduate level. In Pakistan, women make up over half of the population. Ideally, this would equate to women representing at least half of the country’s engineers, designers, technologists, scientists and inventors. Unfortunately, women currently make up only 18% of Pakistan’s STEM professionals.
One of the major reasons of women not opting STEM subjects is stereotypes. Most common one being that women are not that much good in mathematics as men so they are not able do better scientific work. Women face this bias not only at university level but also at workspace. They are not particularly welcomed for engineering jobs as male are considered better engineers. And by chance if they are hired for any such post they must work harder than their male counterparts to prove their worth. Because of this unwelcoming behaviour of her male colleagues it becomes very difficult for a woman to pursue a successful career. It is important to educate and recruit women in STEM fields to be technologically advanced. Gender equality in STEM fields cannot be achieved overnight but we can at least try changing the stereotypes and the mindset which is keeping women away from the STEM fields.
Ehsan, Nabeeha. Women in stem fields. Pakistan Observer, April 12, 2017.