In developing countries, the economic difficulties in getting an education are felt by many, but mostly by young girls. They often have to miss school because they lack sanitary towels, have to struggle twice as hard to make their voices heard, and have to overcome deep-seated cultural and historical prejudices and customs. They’re certainly last in line to obtain an education in the STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths.
And that’s one of the critical things that UJ wants to change, because it knows that as long as these basic educational rights and opportunities aren’t granted to girls, there will be a dearth of women in the technical world. And that means an inherent imbalance that not only denies half the population a role in the future, but also denies everyone the possibility of benefitting from their talent.
UJ understands that if true African participation in the development of 4IR is to be meaningful and relevant, it is going to have to find ways of encouraging, first and foremost, the participation of women. Education plays a critical role in this process.
UJ’s fourth Cloudebate™ of 2020 deals with exactly this issue. The Cloudebates™ draw together key experts to discuss a range of topics relating to 4IR and are available on UJ’s 4IR website.