54 unemployed female graduates get free STEM training

Date: 2024-05-16

According to a news report from Nigerian Tribune, fifty-four unemployed female graduates in Kwara have been selected for free training in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) to bridge the gender gap in STEM fields in the country.

During the launch of the seven-month training programme, titled "Webfala Keeping Female in STEM Orientation Programme," in Ilorin on Wednesday, Mrs Nafisat Bakare, the executive director of Webfala Digital Skills For All Initiative, a non-profit organisation, highlighted the aim of empowering underprivileged children, girls, youth, and women in Nigeria with STEM education and digital literacy skills. These skills, she emphasized, will enable them to carve their own paths in the digital age and compete effectively.

“It’s about empowering women to take their rightful place as leaders and innovators in the technology sector. This programme is not just about teaching technical skills; it is about instilling confidence, fostering resilience, and nurturing talent,” she said.

Mrs Bakare, who said that the programme, “Keeping Female in STEM 2024″, in conjunction with Wipro Technologies Nigeria, aimed to provide unemployed female graduates with training in either cybersecurity, software development (backend), or data science, added that the seven months training programme would include internship activities at reputable STEM outfits for practical and workplace experience.

She also said that the organization’s mission aligns with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender Equality), and SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth).

The nonprofit organization said that women, in many parts of the world, continued to face systemic barriers and discrimination in accessing education and pursuing careers in STEM, quoting UNESCO as saying that only 35 per cent of STEM students globally are women, “highlighting the urgent need for initiatives like ours to promote gender equality and empower females in STEM.

“Our commitment to gender equality is not just a moral imperative; it is also an economic necessity. Research has shown that increasing women’s participation in the workforce can lead to significant economic growth and development. By investing in the education and empowerment of female in STEM. With this, we are driving innovation, competitiveness, and prosperity.

She said that over 990 applications were received and only 300 applicants were shortlisted for interview and screening, while 54 applicants were selected to take part in the training.

“This seven-month journey will not only enhance the participants’ employability but also pave the way for their personal and professional growth. Together, we are not only changing individual lives but also transforming communities and societies. Our collective efforts serve as a beacon of hope and inspiration for future generations, demonstrating what is possible when we come together with a shared vision and purpose”.

Bakare said that the organisation before now had organized several training programmes aimed at empowering girls, women, children, and teachers with essential digital skills and knowledge. “Among the programs we had is “Keeping Female in STEM, Webfala Safe program to mention but a few in which some of the beneficiaries are here today to share their testimonies and experiences with you.

In his presentation as a guest lecturer at the event, the CEO of Plat Technologies Limited, Mr. Taofik Abdulkareem, said there is need for more women in STEM, adding, “We can’t only leave men in the STEM field because inclusion of female in STEM would bring about diversity in STEM activities.

“By bringing more women, we would not limit ourselves in achievable possibilities but unlock new avenues. We need more women in STEM so that they can be made visible for other women to emulate”.

Director, Wipro Technologies Nigeria, Abimbola Taiwo, enjoined the participants to seize the opportunity provided by the training programme with enthusiasm and tenacity, “and remember that the skills you acquire here will not only open doors for you but also empower you to make a meaningful difference in the world“.


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