About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4270-4278
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.2006

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

UNDERSTANDING FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN STEM SUBJECTS IN PAKISTAN

S. Hollows1, M. Rab1, C. Schulze2

1British Council Pakistan (PAKISTAN)
2Carfax Education (UNITED KINGDOM)
In many countries in South Asia, and in the UK, women’s participation in higher education (HE) has equalled or surpassed men's in recent years. However, this trend is not reflected in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. Women are therefore less likely to pursue careers in STEM subjects- arguably this creates an endless cycle as there is therefore a dearth of role models for young women interested in science, technology, engineering and maths.

Most work in the field, however, that has assessed the reasons for such a disparity and identified potential solutions has focused on developed countries- it therefore does not take into account the unique social and cultural situation in Pakistan and proposed solutions may not be appropriate. Pakistan is at at crucial point in it's development, and education has a strong role to play in encouraging further development. Women's education and inclusion in educational institutions is particularly important. In Pakistan, there are increasing numbers of both male and female students enrolling in universities and completing their higher education. Nevertheless, like in other countries, the STEM subjects are disproportionately dominated by male students.

This paper focuses specifically on Pakistan and attempts to identify potential solutions. It draws on extensive fieldwork that the British Council has done in the area, including nationwide surveys of teachers, male and female university students and male and female school students, focus groups with female school student and qualitative interviews with teachers and career advisors. In particular, it will focus on why girls who have studied STEM subjects in high school, completing O and A or equivalent local qualifications have not chosen to study the subjects at university. It will identify a variety of factors and assess which is most important, and will attempt to explain why women and girls discontinue STEM subjects, suggesting how and why these might differ from more developed contexts. Finally, it will suggest appropriate interventions for the Pakistani context.
@InProceedings{HOLLOWS2016UND2,
author = {Hollows, S. and Rab, M. and Schulze, C.},
title = {UNDERSTANDING FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN STEM SUBJECTS IN PAKISTAN},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.2006},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.2006},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {4270-4278}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Hollows AU - M. Rab AU - C. Schulze
TI - UNDERSTANDING FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN STEM SUBJECTS IN PAKISTAN
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.2006
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 4270
EP - 4278
ER -
S. Hollows, M. Rab, C. Schulze (2016) UNDERSTANDING FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN STEM SUBJECTS IN PAKISTAN, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 4270-4278.
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