Empowering Nepali Girls through IT

In our work at CDN we always meet impressive people. One of them we would like to mention in special. Miss. Binita Shrestha, Founder of Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) has been involved in the “Information, Communication and Technology Skills and Education” program. She was the second award winner at Presentation Compaction conducted by Nepal Telecommunication Authority on International Girls in ICT day 2015 and also been the title winner of “Empower 2015” as “Young Aspiring Women Leaders”. This article tells about her personal experience on her way to a successful female personality in IT. She always fights against the pre-existing prejudices that IT subjects are just male dominated. Mostly, women tend to choose their career in women-centric branches like nursing, caretaker, housewife or beautician rather than computer/IT based jobs. Our point of view is that your own abilities and interests make your career brighter and successful than just gender-based decisions.

Women in IT

IT (Information Technology) is a growth in the world and is ranked with high income and is considered a high performing field as well. The trend of female percentage of working in technology is few in comparison with other sectors. It can be widely seen that, since men are dominant in IT, there are more product and services that fit men’s requirements. Unfortunately, women have to rely mostly on men to design, process and produces goods that are especially required for women. For example, machinery in modern kitchen can surly be fixed by women because till now women spent most of their time in the kitchen. But even if a woman decides to work in the IT sector, it can be challenging.

Is passion for IT enough to take this challenge?

As we mentioned before, STEM CEO Binita Shrestha’s told us about her personal experience on how she focused her passion for IT and faced the challenge in her own words.

“Few years ago when I joined Computer Science, I was the only girl among 150 students! Imagine how it would feel? It was scary and made me doubt my passion. My uncountable requests to my other female friends to join Computer Science were ignored as just like many others. They thought that the computer field is male dominated. The irony is that today, we live in a world where we have male nurses and nannies, and we are finding the field of computers too manly.”

 What can we learn from Binita?

According to Binita Shrestha most of the girls are facing similar kinds of problems as she had in her academic life and use to give up without completing their mission. But Binita comes up with this challenging situation positively. Her desire and ability to be an IT professional couldn’t be restricted. To enhance the girls’ participation in IT is today’s need. To access women participation in technology requires good mentors, workshops and various awareness programs, which influences women to come out from the notion of men’s supremacy in IT.

So in all, we should help women to enhance their ability and use their natural uniqueness in the technical field. For these purposes, some of the academic, non-academic and private education companies provide the education and training to close the gender gap. They offer different STEM workshops and programs and conferences in the IT sector where interested girls can join. STEM is the creative field. So realizing the fact that the girls should be given STEM knowledge from very early age, her team came up with an idea of STEM FOR KIDS project (targets age group 10-16 years)  happening every weekend which encourages the young minds towards logic building, problem solving, developing computational thinking and creativity required in the STEM career. We wanted to say, that the role of women in IT is important to improve the female lives and eliminate the existing gender gap in the technology field. IT is a good opportunity for Nepali girls to empowering their lives economically, technically and socially.

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