Exploring Computer Science Gender Parity through Research in Afghanistan

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Exploring Computer Science Gender Parity through Research in Afghanistan. Jandelyn Plane University of Maryland College Park. Data Collection Focus Groups March 2006 Written Surveys - November 2006 Individual Interviews June 2007. Afghanistan Higher Education Statistics. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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Exploring Computer Science Gender Parity through Research in AfghanistanNumber and Percentage of students in Afghan Higher Education (Miwa, 2005)Class Male Female Total1 10,711 2,29513,0062 6,174 1,983 8,157 3 3,187 668 3,855 4 2,631 642 3,273 5 2,011 171 2,1826 183 41 224Total 24,287 5,800 30,697 Afghanistan Higher Education StatisticsLecturers by gender and degree in Afghan Higher Education Degree Male Female TotalBachelor 840 158 998Master 650 61 711 PhD 130 2 132Total 1,620 221 1,841

Computer Access in home: many did not have home computers until starting at the university if they did have access, men gave computer more hardware specificsGroup work dynamic little competition in classes: gender segregated groups are the norm work load equity questioned by several especially menTraining in Computing before starting at University: training mainly in computer usage available occasionally available in secondary schools mostly for men training available at technology centers wide variety of content lack of women teachers in these technology centers several women indicated learning computer applications at homeEmployment Plans: many jobs available in Afghanistan wide variety for CS graduates some feel that certain jobs are not appropriate for women restrictions: on site work, with foreign men (NGOs), late/long hours less ability to predict where they will find employment to help Afghan society by improving economics or teaching is priorityInterview Result Patterns22 Kabul University CS SeniorsJandelyn Plane University of Maryland College ParkData Collection Focus Groups March 2006 Written Surveys - November 2006 Individual Interviews June 2007

First I thought that we will study about the Office programs or something like using computers in offices like this, but when I started, I found that we can program computer and we can have software like that (F-020600). But every family should like the girls to enjoy the faculty and central education. But I think that most of the Afghan families dont want their girls go outside their home. Almost 70%. Yes, 70%. When I go back to my province after 3 years, I met the several [schoolmates from secondary school] but all they are married. Their family dont let them go to join the faculty (F-020530)I would teach computers. If I couldnt find a job at some organization, some office that is acceptable [to my family], then I have to teach. I love the idea of [office] working. I think working at office is better than teaching because teaching is a little good. When you have working at office we can work, I mean, study a little for our self and when you are just teaching thats boring (F-030500). Favorite thing to do in computer I want to be a good programmer because I, I love programming [in] Java. I want to program software like Word but I dont know that. Im working on that and I want to work on my last project(M-040600). Im not changed how I see information about computer science I always wanted to do computer science. The computer size and speed interested in computer for [many] things(M-050611).275 Total registered in Computer Science100 Female students registered = 36.4%

4th Year Students: 122 total with 43 female = 35.2%3rd Year Students: 73 total with 27 female = 37.0%2nd Year Students: 80 total with 30 female = 37.5%2007 KUCS StatisticsI would prefer to work in offices in the field of database or web designing. I cannot work at an NGO, but I would prefer to work in a ministry or university, because of my old brother. He is a little strict and he doesnt like me to work in an NGO(F-060530). ConclusionsThe Kabul University population is approximately 25% women but the Computer Science Department maintains over 35% women in each cohort.In Afghanistan fewer children have access to computers, there are fewer role models, and the employment opportunities are different from countries discussed in most underrepresentation literature.A high percentage of the women in KUCS did not select the faculty of science as their first choice on the entrance exam.A significant number of the women in KUCS do not see working in most computer science fields as a viable option.The men in KUCS are more often interested in studying the computer for its own sake while women want to improve society e.g. by teaching.Sample Interview QuotesInterview Respondent Key M/F - gender # = date and time of interview

Written Surveys Results192 Kabul University CS Students


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