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Women in ICT - Moving up the Value Chain
there opportunities for women in the
Information and Communications Technology
(ICT) industry? Or is the ICT profession a
male affair? ICTs
are indispensable tools used by all to
deal with the limitations of time, cost and
distance. In addition, many are using ICTs
to solve problems and create new opportunities.
a look at how mobile telephony and the
Internet have revolutionized in the way we
work, learn, interact and relax. Information
Technology (IT) and Telecommunications are
changing our way of life. ICTs are here to
stay because we live in the age where
quality access to information and knowledge
is key to survival and performance.
Individuals, organizations and governments
all need and use ICT to be faster, more cost
effective and efficient. ICT
is the infrastructure of the knowledge
there are various challenges associated with
ICTs. Inconsistencies in the exploitation and deployment of ICTs
are a major concern. For example, what has
been the impact of women in ICT? In
many societies, women are still unable to
realize their potentials. Goal 3 of the
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is to
gender equality and empower women" - the promotion of gender equality and empowerment
of women. What is the role of ICT in the
economic and social development of women?
This issue touches all facets of society.
Obviously, there is a direct relationship
between the empowerment of women and
reduction of poverty. Because of its unique
benefits, ICT has been recognized as a tool
for empowering men and women. But is this
notion grounded in reality? Is ICT hurting
or helping women?
empowered are women to make their
contributions in society? Women play a vital
role in society so can we really create
wealth and provide opportunities through ICT
if women are digitally excluded? Can
women really be empowered without quality
access to information? Already these
information and knowledge gaps exist in
society and the majority of women - rural
and urban - don't appear to be on the
right side of the divide.
United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan,
at the World Summit on the Information
Society (WSIS), 2003, had this to say,
"There is a gender divide, with women and
girls enjoying less access to information
technology than men and boys."
face it ICT is nothing without access. We
cannot underestimate the importance of
access. To get the benefits of ICT, you must
have access. Availability or
physical access isn't enough.
Access means usage - ability
to utilize it, ability to work,
learn, interact and create with the information and
resources provided. Fewer women are
accessing and using computers and the
Internet compared to men. The
United Nations Division for the Advancement
of Women, September 2005 publication,
"Women 2000 and beyond", confirms that
"Women are in the minority of users in
almost all developed and developing
ICT is for ALL
is the key resource of the information
society. Without real access to technology,
there is a limit to how and what women can
contribute. Access needs to improve -
availability and quality. More
women, especially in the rural and informal
sector, need to use ICT to get things done
in their lives and work. Women
must be active ICT participants - users,
professionals, creators, producers and
entrepreneurs. To make a difference, women
must engage in productive ICT and ICT-driven
activities - usage and production. I'm
always bewildered when I receive or hear
comments about "ICT professions or areas
for women". ICT has no gender
restrictions! Let us smash these stereotypes
once and for all. There are no female or
male professions of ICT.
there is nothing wrong with ICT consumption
if used to enhance efficiency and
effectiveness. Or if it gives you advantage
in terms of creative options. If we don't
want to go the way of the dinosaur, we all
need to use these knowledge tools to get
ahead. You can't solve tomorrow's
problems using yesterday's tools.
scope of ICT has expanded through the
phenomenal growth of the Internet, advances
in technology and increasing global
dependence on ICT. ICT isn't just for ICT
professionals. The knowledge revolution
demands knowledge professionals, knowledge
workers - ICT savvy individuals in
virtually all sectors. ICT makes it possible for information
to travel faster and much cheaper. And size
of information and distance are no longer
- Moving up the Value Chain
- Moving up the Value Chain
different fields and professions -
commerce, law, medicine, agriculture,
accountancy, sports, entertainment, media,
etc - women can use ICT to enable growth,
create wealth, increase productivity and
create new opportunities.
access to information and the ability to tap
into the benefits of ICT enables women to be
more competitive. Because ICT is so
critical to the knowledge economy, you
simply can't function at your best if you
don't understand, adopt and grasp ICT.
Are you a driver in the knowledge system?
Then you should use ICT to drive your
career and business up and your cost and
challenges down. The
issue is not consume or contribute
- it's consume and contribute
of ICT is important but it's not just
about consumption. Any nation that wants to
be taken seriously in the knowledge world
must have high value capabilities in the
global value chain - highly skilled human
capital that develops, creates and supports
technology products and services. Success
in the knowledge driven economies of the
developed nations has been due largely to
the skilled workforce. Characterizing the
Information and Knowledge-based Economy
(IKE) - Prof. Dzidonu of UNECA: "An
economy based on a rich pool of highly
skilled human resources in critical skill
areas relevant for developing and
maintaining a competitive edge on the global
fully empower women, usage of ICT will not
be enough. Women need to move up the ICT
value chain. Women must become active
players in the ICT industry - the industry
that drives the knowledge revolution. ICT
professionals are needed in all segments of
the economy. With local and global
dependence, there are enormous opportunities
employment and entrepreneurship - for
women in the ICT sector.
Jide Awe is the Publisher of Jidaw.com
Do you Have to Say? Post
Your Comments about this content resource Here.
Feb 14, 2007
Temitope James from Ibadan says:
Good. But will the men allow? How practical and great it would be if this were possible. Thanks.
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