Gender Gap in STEM Education and Professions in Indian Society

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:48
Oral Presentation
Sangeeta YADUVANSHI, Banaras Hindu University, India
The status of STEM education and related professions are standard indicator of development of the nation. These subjects, has been considered as ‘masculine’ for a long time and gender gap in STEM education and related profession have been is observed in most societies. According to recent census 2011, 82.2% of male and 65.5% of the female population of India are literate, this gender gap is observed at each level of education and it is very vivid in Indian culture in reference to STEM education. Analyses of data relating to progress in education in different fields reveal there exist gender disparity in choices of subjects at school level to career choices at the professional front. Although the eleventh five year plan report says that women comprises about half of the total population in India and due emphasis is given to participation of women, for true inclusive growth rate, yet annual report of MHRD showed lowest representation of girls in STEM education and women in STEM professionals. In the patriarchal setting of the Indian family, girls have lower status and fewer privileges than boy children. Existing societal stereotype and parents and teacher attitudes are not very positive for encouraging the girl students to choose STEM subjects for their studies. Science textbooks and science teachers, like others, are not free from gender biases. At school stage girls are not much encourage to study mathematics and science either by parents or the schools, consequently gender gap is appear in professional area related to STEM. Teaching, medicine & nursing is considered to be conventional professional zone for women. The present paper focused on gender gap exist in STEM education associated professions and also discuss the steps taken to overcome this disparity.