SOCIETY’S CURRENT ATTITUDE TOWARDS WOMEN IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY BASED ARTISAN JOBS AS A FACTOR IN MAINSTREAMING GIRLS INTO STM EDUCATION
to the Study
specification has become a major phenomenon in workplace in the recent time.
Gender issues are embedded in and emanated from discrimination which remains
pervasive in many aspect of life worldwide (Maduewesi, 2005). Women perceive
that they are often sexually discriminated against when deciding who receives a
job, promotion or other employment benefits. Nwana (2007) and Maduabun as cited
in Okeke (2000) were of the view that female are grossly underrepresented in
the field of Science, Technology and Mathematics in Nigeria.
(2004) defines woman as an adult female human being. While Esan (2013), sees a
woman as a female who has developed in age, knowledge and experience over a
period of time. However, society has
placed the role of second fiddle on women in the recent time. According to
Streisand (2000), men are allowed to have passion and commitment for their
work…. a woman is allowed that feeling for a man, but not for her work
stereotype is a tendency to have a fixed set of ideas about the roles,
attributes or characteristics of a particular set of persons, which is often
wrongly generalized to be true in all cases. Kanno (2003) feels that it could
be a fixed belief on issues or a mode of life. In another perspective, he
defines stereotypes as the process of attributing certain factors or traits
positively or otherwise to a particular group of individuals. Wilde (2007) sees
women as decorative sex, yet women have excelled in every works of life.
Gabe (2000) opined that men decided a few centuries ago that any job they found
repulsive was ‘‘women’s work’’ and that jobs that requires thinking, technology
and science should be reserved for men. Science and technology based artisan
jobs fall into the category that the society seems to have tagged as “men’s
job”. Consequently there are very few women in science and technology
occupations. Women employment is heavily concentrated on a few occupations
where they work in homes or in the farms as helpers, as nurses, as care givers,
as teachers and as computer assistance.
to Okeke (2009), numerous socio-cultural and school based factors have combined
to lower women’s interest in Science, Technology and Mathematics education and
then hinder their full participation. It is widely believed that boys and men
are naturally better than girls and women in science and technology. This
belief has a negative impact on female participation in both science and
technology artisan jobs. She is also of the opinion that an employer or buyer
of a service will prefer to hire a male artisan rather than a female
counterpart due to her productivity.
full participation in science and technology artisan jobs is an economic
imperative, because according to Nyerere as cited in Ogunjobi (2008) ‘‘no one
can walk far or fast with only one leg’’. According to Ogunjobi (2008), women
constitute about 51% of the Nigerian population, therefore it is not possible
to ignore or neglect their scientific potentials, if the nation is to achieve a
sustainable economic development and also achieve the millennium development
the importance of women engaging in science and technology based artisan jobs
cannot be over emphasized. it will not only reduce unemployment, it will
empower the women and also contribute to national economic growth. Nnaka (2005)
contends that after acquiring skills and training in science and technology,
women are less likely to be timid or easily intimidated. Crime will also be
reduced because women who are industrious are not likely to be involved in
several African countries, the number of young people opting for science
studies is declining and there is a shortage of scientists and engineers in the
labour market that the ageing population will exacerbate (Opaluwah, 2007).
Young people’s motivation is of major importance in increasing the number of
students taking science courses; adequate information and scientific literacy
are also key factors. School children’s views of science are formed at a very
early age (usually at primary school level) and these can have a positive or
negative impact on attitudes to science and technology mathematics education.
women access to work, especially in science and technology based field is still
being constrained due to their unfair workload within the household division of
labour. Consequently, the realization of the millennium development goals on
gender equality and women empowerment targets is being impeded vacuously
the greatest social barrier militating against women’s entry into science and
technology based artisan jobs is the society attitude. Many occupational
restrictions placed on women’s ambition and inspirations are directly related
to some long standing myths embedded in the physiological differences between
the sexes. For example, it is generally believed that women in science and
technology based artisan jobs lose their feminine characteristics such as
passivity, emotionality, intuition and receptivity. Onuebunwa (2008) however,
observed that this situation will still prevail hence, Nigerian women have to
fight against an oppressive socio-cultural religious, illiterate and outright
discrimination in certain occupation in order to earn their living as they are
being distracted from science and technology based artisan jobs through social
and cultural beliefs.
is against this background that this study examines the society’s current
attitude towards women in science and technology based artisan jobs as a factor
in mainstreaming girls into science and technology mathematics education (SMTE)
in Lagos State.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
girls into science technology and mathematical education has been improving
gradually in Nigeria education. This is evident in the number of girls who seek
admission into universities in this field yearly. However, girls who are
involved in male dominated jobs are often looked down upon by some people. This
is as a result of the role that the society placed on gender specification as
The researcher also notices that fewer women
are involved in science and technology based artisan job in this part of the
world than other developed countries and feels that a similar trend among girls
in science and mathematics education, he then decided to find out if there is
any relationship between the patterns.
studies have been conducted towards women participation in science and
technology, but not much have been drawn toward mainstreaming girls into
science technology and mathematical education. It is on this basis that the
researcher deemed it fit to investigate the society’s current attitude towards
women in science and technology based jobs as a factor in mainstreaming girls
into STM education.
development policies aimed at women’s education in science and technology and
also fairness in job participation have been largely ineffective in the
country. Unhealthy state controlled developmentalism has indeed help to erode
independent feminist initiative ever geared towards women emancipation in our
society (Tsikata, 2007).
difference in science and technology enrollments, achievement and employment
worldwide has been established (Azuogu, 1990 and Nepa, 2008). It is evident
that women have performed very well in science yet many women do not chose
science and technology based artisan jobs as their careers. Women are also
aware of the contributions of science and technology to the overall development
of the nation, yet they do not engage in science and technology based artisan
jobs as their male counterpart do. Therefore, the present study sought to
investigate the society’s current attitude towards women in science and
technology based artisan jobs as a factor in mainstreaming girls into science
technology and mathematics education.
1.3 Purpose of the study
general purpose of this study is to investigate the society’s current attitude
towards women in science and technology based artisan jobs as a factor in
mainstreaming girls into science and technology mathematics education. To
achieve this, the researcher aims at:
Determining the current attitude of
people towards women in science and technology based jobs.
Determining the extent at which the
level of education attainment influence society’s attitude towards women in
science and technology based artisan job.
Determining the extent at which gender
influence society’s attitude towards women in science and technology based
Determining the extent at which marital
status influences society’s attitude towards women in science and technology
1.4 Research Questions
study was guided by the following research questions:
1. What is the current attitude of people
towards women in science and technology based jobs?
2. To what extent does the level of
education attainment influence society’s attitude towards women in science and
technology based artisan job?
3. To what extent does gender influence
society’s attitude towards women in science and technology based artisan jobs.
4. To what extent does marital status
influence society’s attitude towards women in science and technology based
1.5 Research Hypotheses
following hypotheses guided the study:
There is no significant difference between the mean attitude scores of male and
female respondents towards women in S&T related artisan jobs
There is no significant difference between the mean attitude scores of those
who attended higher institutions and those who have not, towards women in
S&T related artisan jobs.
There is no significant difference between the mean attitude scores of married
and unmarried respondents towards women in S&T related artisan jobs.
1.6 Significance of Study
finding of this study should be taking as positive contribution to the girls’
education in helping the government to make development policies. The study
would also encourage the parents in guiding their girls into science and
technology based jobs. As whatever is a sauce for a gander is also a sauce for
educational institutions like secondary schools and tertiary institution would
also use this study as an avenue to mainstream girls into science and
technology fields so as to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Scope of the Study
study explores the definitions of major concepts and findings as given by
notable authorities in the field. It tries to find out the society’s attitude
toward women in science and technology based artisan jobs. It also tries to
find out the relationship between the society’s attitude towards women in
science based artisan jobs and enrollment of girls into science and technology
mathematics education. The study covers both male and female parents of
students in secondary schools under Education District IV of Lagos state.
1.8 Limitation of Study
study could only cover some parts of Lagos state as a result of time and
1.9 Definition of Terms
socially determined roles and relations between male and female
specification: preferring one gender to another
segregating one sex to another
those who have skills in using their hands for scientific manipulations and
bringing someone into a fold
not many of fully represented