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Women urged to take up careers in aviation and geospatial sciences

Story by John Nhandara

WOMEN remain under-represented in areas of aviation and geo-space technologies, with only five percent of pilots worldwide being female.

This was confirmed during the International Day of Women and Girls in Science Commemorations hosted by the University of Zimbabwe this Friday.

The event was meant to inspire women and young girls to take up careers in aviation and geospatial science, amid indications that women constitute just five percent of pilots and 31 percent of geospatial scientists.

Co-ordinator Linda Chapotera noted, ‘‘We have seen a minimum representation of women in the aviation and geo space technologies hence we are encouraging young girls to pursue these areas of sciences.’’

The gathering was also attended by female pilots and geospatial scientists who encouraged fellow women and girls to consider studying aviation science and geospatial technologies which are critical elements of an industrialised nation.

ZINGSA Chief Scientist Dr Electdom Matandirotya said, ‘‘Geospatial technologies is one field with few women and I think its sciences that are critical in solving environmental problems and in urban planning.’’

Commercial Pilot Mufaro Dzvova notes, ‘‘I am a commercial pilot and every woman or girl has what it takes to be a pilot. They need to stay focused.’’

Aviation firefighter Tendai Gumindoga said, ‘‘Aviation fire-fighting is a male-dominated industry but I encourage other women to make it because they can do it or even much better than men.’’

Government’s education 5.0 model is set to see more women and girls playing a part in science, research, industrialisation and modernisation of the economy.

UZ Vice Chancellor Professor Paul Mapfumo noted, ‘‘Government committed itself to the heritage based 5.0 philosophy that has come as a game changer as we pursue Vision 2030. We are pursuing an industrialisation and modernisation agenda and we are anchoring it on education. It’s an innovative approach that promotes girls in realising their potential in science engineering and mathematics. It’s about creating opportunities for students to grow in aviation and geospatial space. We are challenging gender stereotypes.’’

The International Day of Women and Girls in Science is an annual commemoration set aside by the United Nations General Assembly to promote the full and equal access and participation of females in Science, Engineering and Mathematics.

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