Initiative to Reduce Gender Disparity in STEM in Nepal

A Nepalese scientist works in the laboratory.
© gettyimages/HemantPhotographer


Language: English

According to a University Grant Commission Nepal (UGC) (2019/2020) report, overall female students' enrollment up to the bachelor level is almost equal to that of male students. But there is a vast gender gap in higher education programs, such as Master's and Ph.D. programs, particularly in the field of Science & Technology and Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The trend of the gender gap is not only common in classrooms but also in academia and research institutes: Only 7.8% of women  researchers are working in the field of STEM (UNESCO, 2020). This wide gender gap could be due to the lack of female-friendly national policies, gender stereotypes, various social norms, fewer female role models in the STEM field, and a lack of networking. At present, the government of Nepal is implementing policies of reservations of specific opportunities of higher education and job for female candidates, which are insufficient and not a permanent solution to decrease the gender gap. Hence, females working in STEM need various capacities-building support programs to increase their competencies. 

The primary mission of  the initiative , supported by the , is to reduce the gender disparity in STEM and support for capacity building of female researchers through networking-based programs. This should encourage, motivate and inspire more girls/women in the STEM field in Nepal.

Specific missions of the initiative are:   

  • Construction of a database of female researchers working in various STEM fields,    
  • Organizing several academic and professional capacity-building trainings in all seven provinces of Nepal    
  • Sharing information on national and international research grants and career development opportunities on a real-time basis among the networking members
  • Providing conference grants/small research funds to early carrier female researchers/students   

Join this Virtual Coffee Break to learn more about Babita Paudel's initiative and to discuss with her and others how more gender equality can be achieved in STEM and academia in general!

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Learn about the work of Babita Paudel

There are only a few women in Nepal who are working in STEM research. Biologist Dr Babita Paudel has launched a network initiative to change that.

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