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close this bookAccess of Girls and Women to Scientific, Technical and Vocational Education in Africa (UNESCO, 1999, 480 p.)
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View the documentPREFACE
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UNESCO's General Conference at its 28th session (Paris 1995) approved the proposal by the secretariat to launch within the framework of its 1996-1997 programme and budget a project on “Technical, Scientific and Vocational Training for young girls in Africa”.

Pursuant to this decision, the Regional Office for Education in Africa in Dakar (BREDA) in co-operation with Headquarters started with a preparatory phase to implement the project aimed at identifying the factors which determine positively or negatively girls being guided into scientific and technical streams and measures adopted by Member States to improve girls access to these streams as well as innovations to be promoted in the future.

During the 1996-1997 biennium, surveys were conducted in about twenty English and French speaking countries in the African Region. The survey deal with women's place in scientific and Technical careers; pschycological obstacles which impede their access to their careers and training, and measures to be adopted to overcome these obstacles.

The surveys were carried out in South Africa, Benin, Burundi, Chad, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe for both English and French speaking countries. It was unfortunately not possible to conduct surveys in Portuguese speaking countries.

The countries covered by these surveys are a representative sample of the whole region, both in terms of languages and geographical distribution. Results of the surveys show similarities concerning low access of girls to industrial, mechanical, building, electricity etc. careers as well as stereotypes and bias which underlie this low access.

This publication falls within the framework of the above mentioned project which the duration lasted six years and which will be continued in the next programme and budget for 200-2001. Its objective is to sensitize public opinion and encourage exchange of experiences and information between researchers and educators in the Region engaged or not in action aimed at reducing gender inequalities in access to science and technology.

The first section is made up of two chapters: the first recalls some both international and African standard setting sources which show that inequalities in access to education between girls and boys continue preoccupying both the international community in general and the countries of the region in particular. The second presents a synthesis of the surveys. It examines reports prepared by specialists following the pattern of a common questionnaire.

The reports are presented in the second section according to alphabetical order of the countries, while the questionnaire used to for the surveys is contained at the end of this publication.

We would like to express thanks to the authors of the reports on which this publication is based

- Anastassios Pouris (South Africa)
- Blandine Legonou Fanou, (Benin)
- Oscar Bazikamwe (Burundi)
- Yelfign Worku (Ethiopia)
- Georgina Quaisie (Ghana)
- Anne W. Njenga (Kenya)
- Raymondine Rakotondrazaka (Madagascar)
- T. Alide (Malawi)
- Mauna Camara Coulibaly (Mali)
- Milka K. Kalomo (Namibia)
- Koukou Adamou (Niger)
- Eunice A.C. Okeke (Nigeria)
- E. Lugujjo (Uganda),
- Mamadou Sagnane (Senegal)
- Comfort B.S. Mndebele (Swaziland)
- Cathleen Sekwao (Tanzania)
- Mariam Madengar (Chad)
- Atayi Mawusi Ayele Edem (Togo)
- Mary Mulaula Lungu (Zambia)
- Overson Shumba (Zimbabwe).

Finally we would like to express our gratitude to our two colleagues at UNESCO Headquarters who initiated these surveys. They worked together with the Regional Office until the survey was completed. These are Mrs Anna Maria BARTHES of the science and technology section and Mrs Colette HANOLD of technical and vocational education section, division of the Renewal of Science and Vocational, of the Education Sector.

Our thanks also go to Mr. Cheikh THIAM who prepared the synthesis of the reports.

Augustin MARIRO
Programme Specialist