The best thing that happened to men in the 20th century was feminism and up to an extent technology too. Women from then on made an effort to do whatever men were considered to be dominant in. Today, they are successful enough to portray them on par with their male counterparts. With all their achievements; they have received enough and more recognition by a position as well as in merit. This was due to a theory named Feminist technoscience which stands for fighting discrimination of women in the field of science and technology.
Is there a gender gap in our society even now?
Despite all the fancy terms in legal books, they are still not considered equal in day to day activities like in houses, workspace, or families. One of the main reasons for the same can be connected to how our parents see girls and women, as just to serve the urge of society. For them, success just lies in marrying them off to a good family and not in their career. Although we can see a gradual change in all such perceptions, it is still prevalent in many of our homes. The following are the few ideas presented in order to ensure gender equality and empowerment using technology. Without creating demand, we can’t just lecture everyone on equal opportunities.
How can women excel in the field of technology to overcome the gender gap?
We need women to realize their own potential and make sure that they are completive to be in the corporate world. The only thing we can help women is by connecting them to each other is communication technology. The first idea will be to create an app for married women who are homemakers to stay connected with other women in similar situations, to interact, create events, discuss ideas, etc. This will help them not only to keep them updated with the technology but also to encourage them to go beyond their homes. The second idea is to basically help homemakers get their own part-time activities like tailoring, cooking, baking, etc to get an audience or to convert it to a business model. Women can start a profile, add skills, and later on start it as a small part-time job and start earning. They can either expand the business or reduce it as per their choice. This method can help them earn a living, as well as kind of develop skills too. This can be taken like freelance work which getting common.
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Bridging the gender gap through education
Another advantage of feminist technoscience was increasing support for girls and women to start a professional career instead of an ordinary career. Women professionals can start a fundraiser for girl students who wish to start a career in STEM. The scholarship can be taken for people who have an appropriate interest as well as the capability in pursuing a career. When these graduates come out and take up the job they can give the part of their salary for this scheme and the cycle continues. To increase the internet access to each girl, because only 20% of the girls have the same, the MNCs as part of their CSR can invest in a project where they can start a special network with connectivity to important applications that can help in their career or skill development. This network can be provided for free to Government schools and colleges, especially in rural areas. With a nominal fee subscription, they can also connect to this from either their parents’ phone or from their home computer.
In schools, students can be taught about Open Source Softwares, Basic electronics, Machines, and Basic mechanics which may encourage students to take up jobs like Electrical Power Stations, Mechatronics, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, etc. These can also be used like mini-skill training centers where they can get certificates in addition to their normal syllabus as the 6th subject or an additional course. Those girls who wish to quit after 10th should be encouraged for Polytechnic, ITI, and such vocational courses. Courses in lab work, food safety, food technology can also be introduced so that they are more practical and skill-oriented. In college also similar strategy can be applied, thus replicating the same model. In Engineering colleges, both boys and girls can be a part of a skill program where the qualifying person gets a degree like B.Tech Honours where they learn more practical papers instead of online courses. Appropriate career advising should be done at the school level and later again in the final year of college.
Overcoming gender gap hurdles in career
The door must be open for all men and women to switch to the job they prefer which is what feminist technoscience should focus on. They should never be forcefully kept in a closed space. It may require some time for women the least to be used in a corporate space just after studies. The due concern must also be given, as parents may be more concerned about women’s marriage and also about how they prefer an office near home over a faraway location. Equal opportunity doesn’t come just on paper, women must strive for the opportunities, create more opportunities too, like the women based startups, women-oriented work environment, work from home, etc.
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All of these ideas when implemented using the existing technology can be useful for mothers and sisters out there not only to empower themselves but also to reduce their burden and pain. Women, despite being forced to leave their careers after marriage and having can still pursue their dreams without haste and bridge the gender gap.
About the Author
Jairam R Prabhu – For interesting articles by the author- Follow blogs on Medium and Blogspot.