Uganda: Female Engineer Graduates with Top Marks, Inspires Other Women to Pursue Science

ImageLondon — There were two unusual things about the graduation of the 2012 Civil Engineering class at St Joseph’s Technical Institute in Kisubi, Uganda.

One was the fact that there was a woman in the group, the other was that she was graduating with top marks in her class.

After rejecting a job offer from the Ugandan education minister soon after graduating, Godliver Businge began work as a trainer at Global Women’s Water Initiative (GWWI), an organization that focuses on teaching women to bring sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) solutions to their communities.

Businge’s mission is to inspire women in her native Uganda to pursue careers in engineering and become financially independent.

source:allafrica.com

Thomson Reuters Foundation talked to Businge about breaking stereotypes and empowering women.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue a career in engineering?

A: In Uganda people used to think that construction, civil engineering and mechanical work were for men. I wanted to break this stereotype that certain jobs are for men and others are for women. I also wanted to show people that women can do the same things that men can do.

Q: What was your experience at school as the only woman in your class?

A: It wasn’t easy because people were telling me I couldn’t do it (pursue a career in engineering) and were suggesting that I should take a different course such as electrical or business.

But then, when I came second in the class during practical exams, everyone was very surprised and they couldn’t believe (I could achieve it). I proved them wrong and then things changed.

People now look at me as a role model, someone who is different. Many young people are following in my footsteps and many are starting to think that women really can do men’s jobs.

Q: What is the importance of convincing women that they can do anything that men can do and can pursue careers which used to be thought of as men’s?

A: In Uganda women are being left behind. We want to make sure women are empowered, that they can get contracts and make money, so they don’t have to depend on men.

In many villages in Uganda women have to take care of their households because men do not think this is their responsibility.

So when we teach women construction and then they are contracted to build a Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) latrine, they don’t have to ask their husbands to give them money any more.

So it’s not only about changing the stereotype, but also about empowering women so that they can make a living out of what they learn.

Q: What was men’s reaction to the change they were seeing?

A: Men were amazed when they saw us working on site, so I think that’s something really good.

At first they thought I was challenging them and didn’t believe (I would succeed), but then they said “good, you’ve done it”.

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Africa: Empowering Women Builds Better Futures

Melinda Gates says everyone wins – and lives are saved – when teenage girls are in school rather than having babies. Excerpted from the 2014 Gates annual letter, published by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation:Image

Girls who marry in their mid-teens tend to start getting pregnant earlier and therefore have more children. They usually drop out of school, which limits their opportunities to learn about their bodies, sex, and reproduction — and to gain other kinds of knowledge that helps them improve their lives.

And it’s typically very difficult for adolescent brides to speak up in their marriages about their desire to plan their families. I just traveled to Continue reading

5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULDN’T COMPARE YOURSELF TO OTHERS

“When you see someone speeding along in their convertible Mercedes with a big fat grin on their face on a lovely sunny day, it’s tempting to think “Wow, there’s someone who knows how to live, I want to be that person!” But remember that what you are seeing is just a snapshot of a person’s life. You can’t possible know what they were doing just a week before, or what about a year before? We all have our ups and downs and Continue reading

Shall We Begin?

Insightful thought everyone suppose to have to change our world and influence lifes,check this awesome blogpost……

touchedbyapen

begin2

I thought it was a beautiful work of art and told her so. I asked that she send me a copy and she did. But, with deadlines and pressing tasks, I did not immediately send her my evaluation or even confirm receipt. The next thing I knew, that evening, she had sent me a message that she knew the work was not that good and was perhaps inferior and maybe that was why I hadn’t responded. I was shocked.

 – November, 2013

If anyone reading this has ever asked me for books to recommend, whether it’s general or more field-specific, there is one author I never miss recommending. Steven Covey. I think him one of the most important people to have lived- a great gift to humanity.

In his 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE, Habit 2 is ‘Begin with the End in Mind’. And…

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Gender Equality in Africa: A Distant Reality?

Female politicians hold the key to beginning a true discourse about gender equality. However, with the rise of female politicians around the globe, is this a possibility? For ten years, the global community has promoted gender equality and female empowerment in the developing world through the Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs), and those goals have not been met. However, even as critics take aim at this failure, women have been able to rise to parliamentary and governmental positions in less advanced countries. In South Africa, Dr. Nkosazana  Dlamini-Zuma has been Continue reading

Uganda: Gender Violence Drops in Kyangwali

A study by the American Refugee Council (ARC) in Kyangwali refugee settlement camp shows that the numbers of cases have reduced since last year.

 

According to ARC’s regional programmes coordinator, Bernard Ojom, increased sensitisation was behind the slight decline. He added that they had noted 80 cases in 2011, down from 150 in 2010 when they started, with 126 registered by December 10, 2013. However, he insisted that they were still studying the matter.

 

“We are a little bit puzzled whether it is due to the over 10,000 Congolese refugees received [here] since August last year, or [it is because] people come out [when affected]. All in all, the problem is still alive and needs concerted efforts to fight,” Ojom said.

 

He was speaking during a ceremony over the weekend to formally end the 16 days of activism against GBV at Malembo primary school in the camp. Ojom revealed that some 37 school children had been involved in the 126 GBV cases, which included rape and defilement. As part of the celebrations

 

The camp commandant at Kyangwali, Moses Kirya, warned the new refugees against contracting HIV/Aids, as they encounter several immigrants prospecting for oil deals in the areas.

 

“If you are seduced because of little money, you will be infected with HIV/Aids and you lose your life for nothing. Be careful,” said Kirya.

 

At least 267 people tested for HIV during the 16 days of the campaign this month.

 

Kyangwali refugee settlement camp, in Hoima, is home to over 30,000 refugees from various countries including Rwanda, South Sudan and Somalia.

Source: http://www.allafrica.com

 

DIANA WINS GIRLS INC SCHOLARSHIP AWARD

ImageGrowing up, Diana was quiet and shy. Though she had an interest in math and science, she didn’t have any idea where it could take her. At Girls Inc., she joined the Eureka! program and found a support system of girls interested in exploring STEM fields, challenging hands-on science activities, and interesting internships. There, she met a woman computer engineer and discovered her passion for this field. As a $20,000 Girls Inc. scholarship recipient, Diana is proud to be a Latina poised to enter a STEM field and be a role model for other girls.

source:www.girlsinc.org