Exploring the experiences of African female students in the environmental science program at the University of KwaZulu-Natal Pietermaritzburg and Westville campus.
Khoza, Sindiswa Yoland.
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The study is based on African female students and the different obstacles they have faced and continue to face due to aspects such as social, political and economic oppression that have hindered their growth in the academic and work environment. The aim of the study was to explore the experiences of African female students in the Environmental sciences field at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The study gathered the different experiences that Black female students’ experience in the previously male dominated field of study phase. The study also looked at different aspects such as the factors influencing Black female students’ choice of Environmental Science. The study included various questions that broadened experiences and asked specific questions that looked into the influences on black females in the environmental science field and how negotiation will impact the women’s personal and work environment. The questions also included the challenges that the women faced and what their future aspirations were. These sets of questions opened up different areas of experience that the affected women had and their influences in shaping their experience in the field. The study identified various challenges faced by Black women in environmental sciences. Racial discrimination is one of the major challenges that Black female environmental science students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal are faced with. The study also suggested further research in the environmental sciences at postgraduate level is needed. The study also suggested that several studies look at engineering and medicine, it would be more informative if environmental science is viewed as a field that can stand on its own and not be organized under Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) fields.