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Monday, May 27, 2024

Women lament limited opportunities in ICTs sector

Story by Tichaona Kurewa

Africa has been implored to strive for a level playing field between men and women through crafting inclusive policies in the area of information communication technologies.

Women still lag behind in the ICTs sector due to related costs and lack of infrastructure especially in rural areas.

In an interview with ZBC News on the sidelines of the International Telecommunications Union Girls in ICT Day in Victoria Falls this Thursday, women cited affordability as a drawback for girls to excel in the sector.

“We know what we want to do in the ICT sector but the cost involved for gadgets and data are a major hindrance for us,” said one of the women who attended.

Another woman said, “Governments must find ways to lower the cost of ICTs hardware and software. At this rate most of us as Women, we won’t afford.”

“We have the zeal for ICTs related field and we know we can do it given the opportunity. We urge all Women to continue to penetrate the ICTs sector, it’s beneficial,” added another.

Other stakeholders from across the continent highlighted the need to support young people particularly girls with the skills and resources required to thrive in the digital economy.

“There is a need to capacitate girls especially those in the rural areas to be well versed with digitalisation. We still have a very much lower grade of women skilled in using the internet,” said African Union Commissioner Infrastructure and Energy, Dr Amani Abou-Zeid.

 “Our connectivity and skills programme is being extended and expedited to the rural areas because the rural areas of our continent are not benefiting from high-speed connectivity. The African Union is also working on the security of internet users; we want to make sure that all of us are using the internet in safety, safe and secure.”

“We need to expose young girls to ICTs from a very tender age. When we buy them toys, let’s buy them toys they can play with and assemble them along the way. We also need to expose the young girls to those women like us who have made it in ICTs so that they see that it’s possible, they can do it as well,” noted Ghanaian Minister of Communications and Digitalisation, Honourable Ursula Owusu Ekuful.

According to the International Telecommunications Union, access to high-speed internet improves girls’ chances of getting a job by 14 per cent.

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