UN Women rallies support to bridge gender digital divide
*Launches mobile app for farmers
United Nations Women, (UN Women), has called on stakeholders to push for the inclusion of more women and girls in the digital technology field to bridge the existing gender gap and ensure equality in the innovation and technology sector.
Country Representative, UN Women, Nigeria, Beatrice Eyong, made the call at the UN Women Youth Showcase of leading youth in technology and innovation in Nigeria, yesterday in Abuja.
She said innovation and technology is critical to empowering women and girls for the attainment of gender equality in Nigeria hence the theme of UN celebration this year’s International Women’s Day, ‘DigitALL:Innovatoon and Technology for Gender Equality ‘ is apt.
“There is still a gender gap however when it comes to representation in employment and education in the technology sector in Nigeria, according to the National Bureau of Statistics, (NBS), women make up to 22 percent of the total number of engineering and technology university graduates each year.
“This is due in part to gender stereotypes and social norms that still categorise jobs in these sectors as “men’s jobs”, which inhibits women from applying to study or demonstrating interest in such subjects and courses,” she said.
Director General and Chief Executive Officer, of the National Information Technology Development Agency, (NITDA), Kashifu Inuwa, revealed that in the last four months, the agency has increased the number of women and girls participating in its innovation and technology trainings and more are billed to be rolled in not upcoming programs to close by the gender gap in that sector.
He said the organisation through its several policies and strategies had trained over 200,000 young people on ICT to bridge the gender divide.
According to him, ” We trained more than 222,000 Young people in ICT and we believe that we have a growing population, vibrantly entrepreneurial and expanding tech eco-system, which if we leverage can provide an opportunity for us to achieve Gender Equality and women empowerment.”
Speaking on the central role of technology plays in the empowerment of women and girls, minister of women affairs, Pauline Tallen, who was represented by the Director of Women’s Development in the ministry, Funke Oladipo, pointed that when women are technologically emancipated, they bring about an overall development of the national.
The event features the launching of a mobile application to help rural women access farm input, and links to markets among others and the exhibition of technological projects from young innovators across the country.