ABUJA- The Global Rights, a human rights organisation, has called for inclusive digital technology space for women and the need to support women and girls’ participation in ICT for sustainable economy.
Mr Edosa Oviawe, Programme Manager, Global Rights with experts in the digital technology industry made the call at a dialogue on ”Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges :Celebrating Women in Tech” in Abuja.
Oviawe said that global rights noted that women in Nigeria still barriers in the Tech sector and decided to celebrate and bring women who have braved the odds on ICT to mentor younger ones.
“There is need for us to continue to have conversations around these issues and to showcase women who have actually broken some of those barriers and ventured into some of those areas people used to see as difficult areas for women.
“So we thought we should have this conversation in this women’s month to inspire younger women that are aspiring into this area of technology in particular by hearing the older ones share their experiences and stories .
“That way , younger women can be inspired to venture into these areas.”
Oviawe said that one major barrier women also face in the Tech world was the issue of gender-based violence
“Some of those barriers women face are enormous. We hear everyday how the issues have arisen because technology facilitates gender-based violence as women are constantly being intimidated by unknown faces on social media.
“So this programme is another reminder to all of us to bond to fight all forms of violence against women and to eliminate all forms of barriers limiting women from fully attaining their potentials.”
Also speaking, founder of Womenovate, Motunrayo Opayinka said that the 2023 International Women’s Day celebration themed “Digital” was a call to embrace technology with inclusion for women.
Opayinka said that globally, economic loss from lack of participation of women in Science Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) was worth 42 trillion dollars.
“This is a global pandemic and steps and initiatives need to be taken to close that gender gap.
“We need to have more women being participative and inclusive in the tech sector in designing new technology and bringing diversity into the whole tech space.
“So it’s important that we embrace equity, beyond equality, equity, meaning that we meet our woman wherever each is and embrace them to come into tech .”
Opayinka added that there was need to encourage younger ones to embrace tech.
She said that there was also need for more women in leadership,and there was also need to showcase and role model women tech leaders so the younger ones could aspire to take on tech careers and go into tech sectors.
She said that overall , it would be a benefit to the whole world because gender diversity is a global pandemic not just specific to Nigeria.
“We must embrace and have more women inclusion and participate in tech.”
Opayinka said that Womenovate is a tech platform for women in STEM providing them with resources and materials to engage in STEM careers and kickoff successful STEM businesses.
A participant and Data Analyst, Ms Ladidi Abdulmumuni, thanked global rights for the initiative to mentor younger tech females .
“To be honest ,being in this kind of trainings brings out the giant in me because it tells you that there is so much that you can offer.
“Having heard successful women talk about their achievements, have learnt a lot,and so I won’t give up,”she said (NAN)