Sangeetha here! Today was an eventful day here at the National Girls Scout Office. I met several girls from lots of different countries and they all have special and personal stories to share about women in their community. Particularly, I met a girl from Cameroon and one from Indonesia. We are in a group together to discuss our personal experiences and thoughts about women’s opportunities in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). It was very inspiring to hear their stories and to hear about the issues women face in their community every day. My friend ,Fabiola, from Cameroon talked about how the girls in the schools don’t get equal access to technology, specifically computers.
Imagine being in a class of 43 students with 15 girls and 28 boys. There are about 12 computers total and only 6 of those work. Out of the 6 computers only 3 computers have internet. Try to imagine ten students sharing one computer and not every one in the group of ten get a chance. In an uncomfortable situation like this, the women in the class don’t get any access to the computer.
Fabiola recalls an incident when she was using the computer and a male classmate walks up to her demanding her to get off the seat. He told her, “Why are you holding the computer mouse when you are supposed to be holding a baby’s napkin?”
This story made me reflect on the fact that the issues she faces in Cameroon is multiplied in severity compared to the issues faced by girls in the United States. On one hand, I am thankful for the resources and opportunities women are given at the United States, but on the other hand, I want to make a difference in the world to improve the lives of girls and women. Women must be strong and not give up their rights to their STEM education, simply because they are told it’s not their place.
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