Although the worldwide gender gap in education has begun to close, there are still significant disparities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. In the United States, women make up only
35% of undergraduate students in STEM fields, in Benin, however, where only 1 in 4 girls complete primary school, the STEM gap is even more pronounced. For girls who make it past primary school, obstacles such as familial obligations, sexual assault, unplanned pregnancy, menstruation, and child marriage can make staying in and excelling in school even more challenging.
But at Batonga, we see the incredible value in including women and girls in STEM fields, regardless of the obstacles that they have faced in their education. That’s why Batonga is embarking on a new solar technology pilot program to integrate renewable energy solutions and cutting-edge technology into our Girls Clubs. In doing so, we hope to provide our Girls Club members with the skills and knowledge they need to understand, operate, and run small businesses using solar technology.
As a part of this program, Batonga sent four of our mentors and three of our staff members to a week-long training seminar in Sierra Leone to learn more about solar technology and how to successfully integrate it into Girls Clubs.
Batonga is thrilled to be not only exploring new renewable energy solutions but also increasing the numbers of girls interested and working in STEM.
We wish you a Happy International Day of Women and Girls in Science! If you’d like to help Batonga bridge gaps in STEM education and head towards a brighter future, please donate here: https://batongafoundation.org/get-involved/