The chairman, International Network of Women Engineers and Scientists, African Regional Network, (INWES-ARN), Dr. Uduakobong Aniebiat Okon, has enjoined parents to prepare the girl child for higher responsibilities rather than packaging them for marriage.
Speaking at a pre-African regional INWES-ARN conference billed to take place on Wednesday, 26th June 2019 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, Dr Okon said parents give more preference to the male children in acquiring education in science technology and engineering while the girl child is prepared to be a good housewife.
“Parents are impacting the girl child science technology and engineering in a way that discourages the child. Parent are often telling their daughters not to study certain courses especially science technology and engineering courses.
“They threaten their daughters a lot. They say, if you study mechanical engineering you will not find a husband. The child becomes intimidated.” Okon lamented.
The international conference which will take place at the 1000 capacity TETFUND hall, University of Uyo, is expected to have the wife of the state governor Mrs Marther Udom Emmanuel as Special Guest of Honor while the Vice Chancellor University of Uyo, Prof Enefiok Essien will be the chief host.
Okon explained that the conference is aimed at promoting and encouraging the girl child towards engineering and science related education.
She disclosed that the major objective of the conference is to seek partnership with government and non-governmental organizations for scholarship for the girl child and to promote science and engineering education among women.
Enumerating the challenges faced by INWES, Okon highlighted lack of facilities for training, poor funding of schools, exams malpractice and gender discrimination as major challenges of the organization.