IWD: CPPR advocates digital skills for women in businesses, environment
*Says $1trillion lost in developing countries in 10 years over women’s exclusion from digital world
As the world celebrates International Women’s Day, the Centre for Public Policy and Research (CPPR), has called for promotion of digital innovation for women in businesses and the environment to promote women’s economic empowerment across the country.
Citing the United Nation’s Women’s 2022 Gender Snapshot, the centre stated that women’s exclusion from the digital world has caused a loss of $1 trillion to the economies of developing countries in the last decade, adding that the loss will increase by 50 per cent by 2025 if nothing is done in this regard.
In a statement to commemorate the 2023 International Women’s Day, the Chairman of the Center, Dr Sam Amadi, noted that this year’s celebration theme, ‘DigitALL, Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’ aimed to promote digital innovation and technological advancement.
He observed that such skills for women and girls would drive sustainable economic development and inclusive well-being for all.
According to Amadi, besides economic benefits, enhancing women’s safe and equal access to digital technologies offers immense opportunities to address development and humanitarian challenges as well as spark innovative and creative solutions that meet women’s needs and promote their empowerment.
He said: “Also, the UN says women are underrepresented in STEM careers and climate innovations. Climate change affects 80 per cent of women globally because women are the primary caregivers in most households. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has highlighted the gender gap in environmental quality and the ability to shape environmental outcomes in many low-income countries. Women innovators have continued to grow, particularly in technologically advanced countries. However, on a global scale, only 15 per cent of innovators are women.
“Women are the primary caregivers in Africa, with 75 per cent of these women living in rural communities. The majority of these women are responsible for their families’ energy, food, shelter and clothing. As climatic conditions continue to change, women are developing local strategies to mitigate and adapt to these changes. With an increase in local climate mitigation and adaptation strategies, there is an increase in female participation in climate action in Nigeria.
Amadi noted that in order to develop new technologies and innovations, there is a need to embrace and promote equity in digital innovation action, increase women’s participation in technology and close the digital gaps in Africa and Nigeria.
“For this increased participation to occur, there is a need to develop gender-sensitive technology curriculum for girls at all levels of education in Africa and Nigeria because it will help young girls develop an interest in innovations.
“Centre calls for digital innovation in businesses for women to promote women’s economic empowerment and transform their lives. The CPPR urges the government to ensure that the digital space is safer for women and girls.
“It is important that the government invests greatly in Information and Communication Technology skills for women, and be placed in and around ICT decision-making in the country.
“Online content should be developed to solve gender challenges specifically for women and girls that will promote human rights of women and girls in Nigeria”, Amadi added.