Feminist Approach to Tech - A Study in Delhi Schools

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A presentation by Shambhavi Singh of Feminist Approach to Technology, an organization working to expand technology access in India and increase women's participation in technology development. She spoke about their research programs in Indian govt schools at GDG's #WomenTechmakers event in 2014.

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Feminist Approach to Tech - A Study in Delhi Schools

  1. 1. What is a Feminist Approach to Technology? Gendered critique of design, use, impact and access to technology ● Empowering women to create and participate in the process of technology development ●
  2. 2. Why a Feminist Approach to Technology is essential? Inseparability of Rights and Technology ● For development and growth ● To ensure gender equality ●
  3. 3. Key problem areas: Low participation of women in creation of technology ● Absence of gender and technology from women's rights movements and development discourse ● Scarcity of data and information on girls studying in technology institutes in an Indian context ● ● Unequal access to technology usage
  4. 4. Our Programs Tech Centre Program ● Research Documentation and Advocacy Program ● School Contact Program ●
  5. 5. Baseline Study Visible Trends from the Baseline Survey: Girls felt responsible for the great amount of housework as opposed to the boys in their families. ● Girls place the poor quality of teachers and facilities alone responsible for the lack of desire to pursue STEM. ● Facilities in school or the lack thereof also hamper students' motivations towards STEM. ●
  6. 6. School Contact Program ● Background to the program ● Research cum intervention program. Research study to find out “issues related to girls vis-a- vis STEM”. ● Appropriate interventions based on the findings of the study. ●
  7. 7. Aims ● ● ● ● Contribute to non existent literature on gender and technology in the local context Understand the context of urban poor girls and their interests(or lack thereof) in STEM. Understand and ameliorate gender stereotypes associated with STEM. To sensitize teachers and students alike of the underlying gender-biases.
  8. 8. Objectives ● ● ● ● Study and analyse the performance of girls from 6th to 10th grade in STEM subjects in Govt schools. Conduct study to understand preferences, motivations and interests of students in these schools. Share results with teachers and administration with suggestions. Use results as a tool for advocacy.
  9. 9. Research Methodology ● ● ● Combination of qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Qualitative: FGDs around attitudinal, societal and infrastructural issues. Quantitative: Questionnaire incorporating the responses obtained from the FGDs and a separate questionnaire by Google.
  10. 10. Dominant responses Individual- Both girls and boys find Science and Maths very difficult to understand. Family- Girls do all the household work as opposed to boys who do no housework, Parents have a larger say in their career choices. Infrastructural – No functional labs/computer classes in schools, tuitions unaffordable by most and seen essential to do well in STEM
  11. 11. Follow-up Programs ● Winter Camp at FAT's Tech Centre - Done with our tech centre girls ● Workshops in Schools - Done with girl students from class 6 to 10 - Events included practice based workshops on Science and th th Technology - Session with eminent speakers from STEM subjects and fields, interesting digital content and Quiz sessions.
  12. 12. Challenges encountered during the program Obtaining permission from government school to collect data and conduct workshops ● ● Insufficient Funds
  13. 13. What lies ahead? Replicate and adapt School Contact Program in other parts of the country ● Conduct bi-annual workshops in schools through volunteer supported program ● ● Organising events on STEM in schools

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