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Nigerian Government Seeks To Develop Digital Tools For Women

The Nigerian government has urged all stakeholders from the public and private sectors to focus on developing digital tools and services that address the needs of all women and girls across sectors.

The Minister of Women Affairs Mrs Pauline Tallen made the call in Abuja, at the 2023 National Women’s Conference with the theme “Inclusive Technology and Digital Innovation for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment.”

She highlighted the need to bridge the gender digital divide and create a more inclusive innovation eco-systems that promotes safe and gender-responsive technology and innovation.

The minister also stressed the need to encourage young women and girls to adopt Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and also ensure that the Digital space does not promote gender-based violence.

“Despite the rapid growth of the country’s tech sector, only very few women have the opportunity to participate in the ecosystem which is largely dominated by men.

” It is also disheartening that only about 30 per cent of 93 surveyed technology companies in Nigeria are owned by women and more than a third of these companies employed no woman at all (NBS),” she said.

Also, the UN Women’s Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms Beatrice Eyong, said the technology could advance equality, bridge the gender gap and harness the numerous women’s potential.

“There is still a very huge digital gender divide especially with rural people, poorer persons and women who have lesser access to technology.

“We must harness the potential of digital technology to advance an inclusive environment for women to strive,” she added.

Similarly, Reverend Joseph Hayab, representing the Side by Side Movement for Gender Justice, stressed the need to accelerate inclusive technology and Digital education for gender equality and women’s empowerment

He, therefore, called on religious leaders to continue to advocate for gender justice, gender equality.

“One of the reasons that we are where we are today is because we are always living in denial concerning dominating women.

“We are doing it people are watching, counting it and are angry with us. And unless we stop living in denial, we cannot remedy what we are denying,” he noted.

Dr Vincent Ahonsi, Country Director, Oxfam International, represented by Mrs Helen Akinyemi, urged the conference to come up with transformative approaches

This, he noted would bring about gender justice and bridged the gender divide in all sections.

Ms Catherine Edeh, hearing impaired legal practitioner, during a panel discussion stressed the need for Digital inclusion in media organisations, religious houses, schools, and others.

The legal practitioner said she had innovated an Audi translator app to convert audio to text to enable hearing-impaired persons to communicate with other persons effortlessly.

The Conference ended with a call on the need to bridge the gender digital divide and create more inclusive innovation ecosystems that promote safe and gender-responsive technology and innovation.

Source : VON