GS6 Speakers

Dr Fahima Aziz, Gender Summit 6 AP Speaker
Former Vice Chancellor, Asian University for Women (AUW), Bangladesh.

Gender Inequality in STEM Education in Bangladesh (download presentation here pdf icon)
Parallel session 1: Mainstreaming Gender into Asia-Pacific’s Research, Innovation and Development Goals for more effective and sustainable outcomes

Dr Fahima Aziz was the Vice Chancellor of the Asian University for Women, Bangladesh from 2012 to 2015. Prior coming to Asian University for Women Dr Fahima Aziz served Endowed Chair in International Business and Economics at Hamline University in St Paul, Minnesota, USA. Dr Aziz chaired the Department of Management and Economics for ten years and concurrently chaired the Environmental Studies Program for seven years at Hamline University. Dr Aziz is deeply interested in promoting higher education for empowerment of women and her recent research include importance of female empowerment and leadership of women. Her research work includes poverty, income inequality, and gender issues in labor market. 

Additionally, she has worked on examining how students learn and the importance of instilling metacognitive skills in students for enhancing learning. Aziz has numerous publications and presentations on her areas of research. She has earned many awards at Hamline, including the Burton and Ruth Grimes Outstanding Teaching Award and the John Wesley Trustee Award for her outstanding leadership and contributions as a faculty. Recently, she was awarded the Outstanding Alumni Award 2012 from the Department of Applied Economics, University of Minnesota. Dr Aziz was awarded the prestigious Fellowship for Leadership in Higher Education from the American Council for Education, Washington D.C. In Minnesota, she served on the Board of Directors of Park Midway Bank, St.Paul, Minnesota and on the Board of Trustees at Saint Paul Academy and Summit School St. Paul, Minnesota. Dr Aziz has been very active in and was a President of the Minnesota Economic Association. Dr Aziz earned a BA from Mount Holyoke, an MS from the University of Massachusetts, and a PhD from the University of Minnesota, USA, all in economics.

Read the articleAsian University for Women Celebrates Third Commencement, about the Asian University for Women (AUW) in Bangladesh

Summary of Talk for Gender Summit 6 Asia-Pacific: 

Bangladesh has achieved one of its Millennium Development Goals - gender parity in education, ahead of time. National Female literacy went up from 41.4 percent in 2009 to 53.4 percent in 2011 (Hussain & Naumi, 2010; CIA, 2011). However, this gender parity is achieved when we consider primary and secondary education. With regard to university education sector the percentage of women’s enrollment has remained approximately a quarter of the total enrollment over the years. Though the actual number of women students enrolled for university education has increased and women’s participation in professional education like nursing has also increased significantly (Hussain & Naumi, 2010), the percentages for enrollment of women in institutions of higher education remain the same for the last two decades. Women in STEM education has increased but remains far below male participation in STEM areas. Thus gender parity in tertiary education is yet to be achieved. This paper will specifically address gender inequality in STEM education in Bangladesh and explore factors leading to this outcome. The paper will illustrate gender parity with male and female enrollment in two major Engineering and Technology universities in Bangladesh.