Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Enrolment Regimes and Gender Differences in University of Mines and Technology: Implication for Gender- Equity Discourse in Multi National Ghanaian Mines

Academic journal article Gender & Behaviour

Enrolment Regimes and Gender Differences in University of Mines and Technology: Implication for Gender- Equity Discourse in Multi National Ghanaian Mines

Article excerpt

Introduction

Women constitute an indispensable social group in development agenda of nations. As a result, United Nations Development Projects (UNDP) established a special Division for Women in Development, aim at promoting concrete action to ensure that women effectively participate in global socioeconomic projects. It preyed on women to assume active roles in all sectors and at all levels of social development, both as agents and beneficiaries. Thus, policies on industrialization, food and agriculture, science and technology and sociocultural development must involve women. Women are undoubtedly a critical mass to reckon with, being more than half of the world's population. Yet they perform two-third of the world work, earn one-tenth of the world's income and own less than one-tenth of the world's property (Mubarak, 2006). Results of population and housing census revealed there are about 12,633,978 females and 12,024,845 males, implied females constituted 51.2 percent of the population and males 48.8 percent, resulting in sex ratio of 95 males to 100 females (PHC, 2010). Thus, statistically women representation is significant enough to inform development of the Ghanaian economy. However, most of them are challenged on grounds of science, engineering and technological education.

Access to education is empowering, enabling people to monitor policy, lobby, learn, collaborate, campaign and react to legislation (Harding and Parker 1995). Education is also a powerful mechanism for societal and economic progress. Education equally helps people earn respect and recognition; it is indispensable part of life both personally and socially. However, unequal access between male and female gender divides is a major problem, especially in science, engineering, technology and mining related courses in Ghana. Harding and Parker (1995) observed that in most cultures, participation in science education is strongly influenced by gender. Heggarty (1995) argued that women are not only less likely to choose to study science related courses than men; the male students appear more active participants than female students in science classes in Africa. This phenomenon according to Hoffmann-Barthes, Nair and Malpede, (1996) is situated in the context of Africa's problems of poverty, disease, malnutrition, famine, drought, civil strife, vigilante groups, militants and war, combined with poor access to shelter, electricity and basic health services. Recent happenings across the globe demonstrate the potential of science, engineering and technology education for improving quality of people's lives, eliciting major sociocultural transformations, hence widely accepted that psychosocial development, hugely depends on harnessing and applying Science and Technology achievements, where regrettably females are few. Also, developed countries with only 17% of the world's population, dominate the field of science and technology research by 95%. In contrast with developing countries, where 70% of the world's population lives, possess only 5% of the world's science and technology research (HoffmannBarthes, et al, 1996). This therefore explains how powerful and development oriented is science and technology education to humanity.

In this global platform with gender imbalanced scale of science and technology education, the African situation is more abysmal, representing the least scientifically advanced in the world, paying little attention to equality in science enrolment in schools, where national spending on science and technology education being negligible, national research and development spending by universities and other institutions of higher learning being woefully ineffective, and institutional infrastructure of science and technology being badly challenged (HoffmannBarthes, et al 1996). Invariably, if high level of scientific and technological input is to be achieved for effective industrial development, no country can afford to leave 51. …

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