STEM PIPELINE
FOR GIRLS

Women have made significant progress in many key academic disciplines such as medicine, law, finance, business, management, humanities and social sciences.

Women have made significant progress in many key academic disciplines such as medicine, law, finance, business, management, humanities and social sciences. However, in the STEM field, girls are behind in both interest and enrolment. Currently in South Africa, in terms of new university graduates, only 13% of STEM graduates are women. Of the 96 Motsepe Foundation scholarship recipients who recently graduated, only 21 girls (22%) graduated with STEM-related degrees.

However, this calls for leadership, strong gender policies and adequate public resources for effective implementation. Furthermore, both gender policy and gendered public budget allocations require multi-stakeholder engagement and oversight if they are to effectively transform the lives of women.

The Gender Responsive Budget Initiative (GRBI) is a programme spearheaded by the Motsepe Foundation. In 2012, it was relaunched in collaboration with the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. The programme seeks to strengthen the capacity of national, provincial and local government, planners and policymakers, gender focus groups, civil society and women’s organisations, to review, analyse and prepare provincial plans and budgets from a gender perspective.

Proficiency in STEM subjects is a prerequisite for closing the gender gap going forward. As the Honourable Minister of Women in the Presidency, MP Susan Shabangu, recently pointed out, by the year 2020, 80% of all future jobs will require a STEM education.2

Recognising that supporting girls and women in STEM is one of the most central pillars for Africa’s equitable sustainable future

Against this backdrop, the Foundation will work with primary and secondary anchor schools in order to:

  • Spark interest in STEM subjects by introducing mathematics from Primary School level;
  • Inspire girls to consider STEM careers;
  • Increase girls’ interest and engagement in STEM; and
  • Attract girls into STEM fields and ensure they progress in these fields.