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Encouraging greater enrollments of women in science and technology: the Malawi Polytechnic experience

Gomile-Chidyaonga, Flossie

Abstract:
In this paper the author discusses the marginalisation of women and girls in Malawian society. Females are often regarded as inferior to their male counterparts in certain cultures. Malawian traditions such as initiation rituals for boys only reinforces femininity in girls.  Roles in these societies are often gender-determined and studies have indicated that women are not expected to prosper academically. Findings by other researchers are mentioned and the author identifies one problem in pariticular, that of high illiteracy rates amongst Malawian women and girls.  The discussion focusses on the Malawian Polytechnic  college which opened its doors in 1965.  Statistics show an increase in female participation in and utilization of Science and Technology. The affirmative action policy of the university has resulted in more women and girls enrolling for polytechnic courses. The paper includes a case study which explores the experiences of female students who have enrolled for Science and Technology. The author concludes that any attempt to increase the participation of women and girls in polytechnics begins with their socio-cultural framework. Cultural myths which have prevented women from academic programmes should be dispelled.     

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Title of Paper: Encouraging greater enrollments of women in science and technology: the Malawi Polytechnic experience


Date:2003
Document Type:Other (Not Peer Reviewed)
Subject Area:Teaching and Learning
Country:Malawi
Keywords:Malawi, Polytechnics, Science and Technology, Gender, Women in Science, Inequality in Education, Case Study, Cultural Values, Female Students, Affirmative Action


File Size:49 KB
Additional information:A case study prepared for a Regional Training Conference on Improving Tertiary Education in Sub- Saharan Africa: Things That Work!
Date Added:21 February 2007


Gomile-Chidyaonga, Flossie (2003). Encouraging greater enrollments of women in science and technology: the Malawi Polytechnic experience Prepared for a Regional Training Conference on Improving Tertiary Education in Sub-Saharan Africa: Things That Work!, Accra, September 23-25