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Paper Details

Transgressing for Access: A Call for Higher Education Reform to Support Black Females in STEM

Beverly A King Miller

Journal Title:Journal of Interdisciplinary Sciences

There continues to be the global demand for a qualified workforce in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Yet, for Black females in South Africa this means combating the legacy of Apartheid to overcome challenges due to race and gender. This paper draws data from a qualitative study of four Black South African females in STEM careers. Through their voices they identify ways in which they transgress gender and race to gain access to STEM careers. Further, their families transgress cultural norms in order to offer support for unfamiliar career pathways. Their narratives call for a transformative change in higher education to address the physical and safety needs of Black females in South Africa and the removal of the burden of educational fees for Black families. This is echoed in the 2015 #FEESMUSTFALL movement. Finally, there is a need for the creation of quality higher education institutions near Black townships.