The Department of Chemistry through KEN-01 team organized a brainstorming workshop on 15th September 2023 held at Arziki Restaurant, Chiromo Campus on the re-establishment of Women in Chemistry(WIC) from 8.30am-11am. This workshop was attended by the Dean of the Faculty of Science and Technology (Professor Leonidah Kerubo), the Chairman of the Department of Chemistry (Professor David K. Kariuki), female and selected male academic staff, representative female technical staff and female postgraduate students, discussed the constitution of WIC, its objectives and way forward.
Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) plays a critical role in the development of national economies, hence nations that aspire to develop in these areas should give great attention to the teaching of STEM subjects at all levels of education. In spite of this, only a small population of the girl child has been actively involved in STEM programmes, and their drop-out rate as they move up the echelons of learning is alarmingly higher than boys.
As part of the events to celebrate the UNESCO declared International Year of Chemistry in 2011, the Women in Chemistry (WIC) group was formed to respond to the challenges faced by the girl child in STEM education, and provide mentorship in both high school and university. Under the leadership of Prof. Lydia Njenga, a number of schools (both girls only and mixed boys and girls schools) within Nairobi and the surrounding counties were visited by WIC members, which comprised female and male academic members of staff. The school visits were successful, as girls from most of these schools joined the university and enrolled in science-related courses.
After a few years of operation, the group became inactive since most of its leaders joined the university administration. During this period of time, some of WIC’s activities were carried out on a smaller scale by the Inorganic Chemistry Research Group (KEN01) which is a project funded by International Science Program (ISP), Sweden. The vision of WIC however, remained alive.