“I began to ask myself, why is it that girls always get the best marks but boys always get the best jobs?” Gayatri Buragohain said, reflecting on her time in engineering college. “It’s because boys have experience doing. They have freedom.”
As India’s local government elders called the Khap Panchayat ban women from using mobile phones and restrict their movements, girls slowly lose enthusiasm for STEM. “These girls don’t even have the right role models to dream of a career in STEM,” Gayatri says. “A girl in Delhi sees everything happen around her, but she can’t access it.”
It was when Gayatri first began to question her own experiences as a woman in a STEM field that she got angry. But then she got a good idea. She founded Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT) to ensure that girls can access technology as users, designers, and decision makers. “FAT is not just a science program,” Gayatri says. “It’s a feminist science program.”
The MATCH Fund is supporting FAT’s pilot after-school tech lab for 25 economically disadvantaged middle school girls. If you pop in, you’ll see girls learning basic carpentry and electrical programming. You’ll see a film on the solar system and you’ll hear from successful Indian women who are already working in STEM careers. If you haven’t already, you might just fall in love with STEM. But you’ll definitely fall in love with FAT.