Jidaw Systems

Women in ICT - bridging the gender digital divide

I'm sure that your inputs will enlighten and help in bridging the gender digital divide in the country. Hopefully it will highlight the challenges and benefits women encounter with regard to ICT.

and explore ways to close the
gender based digital divide.
gender equality and the advancement and empowerment of women

Please don't restrict yourself strictly to my questions if you feel there are more appropriate other things as much as possible explain your answers as it helps to further enlighten the audience by throw more light on the topics. Specific examples will be appreciated.

The potential of ICT to contribute to human development, including elimination
of gender disparities, is currently compromised by unevenness in the pace and
spread of these technologies and in the differential effect that their rapid
diffusion produces across social structures. 

The gender imbalance is very much evident as the mean number of female personnel specialized in ICT is less than half of their male counterparts. The Gambian women in general are disadvantaged in socio-economic and political arenas and this is also reflected in their minimal presence in ICT driven professions. It is, therefore, very crucial to address this particular issue while moving towards a gender-balanced information society in this country through proper human resources development initiatives in ICT.

"Information and communication technologies
and their impact on and use as an instrument 
for the advancement and empowerment of women"

as a priority theme at its up-coming session in 2003. The Commission's
deliberations should also serve as a contribution to the World Summit on the
Information Society (Geneva (2003) and Tunisia (2005)).

It also recalled the provision in the
UN Millennium Declaration that there is a need to ensure that the benefits of
new ICTs are available to all.

Ms. Roselyn Odera, Chief, Gender Analysis Section of DAW, noted that the purpose
of the meeting was to share experiences and challenges in utilizing ICTs to
advance gender empowerment, and to identify the key obstacles and support
needed for the National Machineries in the future.

Share your Knowledge and experience. a chance to speak out about the issue(s) of most concern to you
hope that this exchange will strengthen the ongoing discussions and give
greater depth to the resulting report.

This consultation has been built through face to face meetings and a virtual
office. We are all on a learning curve of how to use the internet for more
effective and interesting civic participation. And, to be honest, to have some
fun in the learning. Please take part in the spirit of shared learning and
growing, offer ideas with your criticism, and respect the generosity of all who
contribute to the discussions. We are all giving things most close to us - our
knowledge, our experience and our time.

Web intro
Women and Technology: Looking Towards the Future

Today, technology pervades nearly every aspect of our lives. We cannot visit a store, a mechanic, a hospital, a bank, an office, or a movie theatre without noticing that technology is all around us. We have self scanning checkout at the grocery store; cars that can tell us when to get the oil changed and our exact location, hospital equipment using lasers, cameras, x-rays; online banking and automated teller machines; and high-tech animated movies with state of the art graphics and digital surround sound. as our dependency on technology increase, and as Canada becomes more and more of a knowledge-based economy, it stands to reason that in the coming years technology should be an important part of all post-secondary study. What is quite surprising then is that while technology is becoming more of an integral part of our lives, 
But the gender divide is widening

It is a global issue. Women account for half of the world's population, more than 40% of the workforce and less than 30% of the IT workforce. So while half of its potential customer base is female, the majority of the IT industry's products are designed and built by men.

To facilitate and ensure the future role of women in the emerging information and knowledge economy and society.

· To increase the enrolment of girls in science and technology programmes, especially in ICT related programmes at the Universities and Colleges· To create opportunities to facilitate the active involvement of women in the ICT service and sector and industry.· To improve the representation of women in ICT-related professions and in top-level management positions within the ICT sector

wsis plan of action
g. Work on removing the gender barriers to ICT education and training and promoting equal training opportunities in ICT-related fields for women and girls. Early intervention programmes in science and technology should target young girls with the aim of increasing the number of women in ICT careers. Promote the exchange of best practices on the integration of gender perspectives in ICT education.

Each person should have the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge in order to understand, participate actively in, and benefit fully from, the Information Society and the knowledge economy. Literacy and universal primary education are key factors for building a fully inclusive information society, paying particular attention to the special needs of girls and women. Given the wide range of ICT and information specialists required at all levels, building institutional capacity deserves special attention.

l. Governments, in collaboration with stakeholders, are encouraged to formulate conducive ICT policies that foster entrepreneurship, innovation and investment, and with particular reference to the promotion of participation by women.

We divided the subject of women and ICT into 4 Issues, Participation (which
includes our communication rights and internet access), Impact (the effect of
the internet on women's lives), Empowerment (an individual approach to internet
related change, including economic issues) and Strategies (ways we may wish to
work together for women's equality). We refer to these as P-I-E-S.

The questions of whether women have equal access to ICT, whether the new technologies enhance business opportunities for women, especially in developing countries; and what barriers women must overcome to participate actively in the information society

how ICT can become a tool for the advancement and empowerment of women,
"Information and communication technologies and their impact on and use as an
instrument for the advancement and empowerment of women"

the impact of ICT on women and their use as
a tool for the empowerment of women and the promotion of gender equality. In
particular, it examined ICT as a tool for women's economic empowerment, for
enhancing women's participation in public life, and for strengthening women's
capabilities in the area of education and health. It addressed the challenges
and benefits women encounter with regard to ICT and explore ways to close the
gender based digital divide. It developed policy recommendations and concrete
actions to be taken at national, regional and international levels, and by a
variety of actors, that aim at securing the full benefit of ICT in pursuit of
gender equality and the advancement and empowerment of women. 

One of the points the Bureau agreed on in today's session is the need to focus
on the gender dimensions of ICT to prevent and combat the adverse impact of the
digital revolution on gender inequality and the perpetuation of existing
inequalities and discrimination.

The other point agreed upon is the need to integrate gender perspectives in the
forthcoming World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).
Gender activists and public sector representatives known as "National
machineries" adopted a draft declaration that seeks to advance gender equality
in addressing the digital divide. The final declaration will be presented at
the forthcoming World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) to be held in
Tunis, November 2005.
"The draft declaration contains the main issues that the national
machineries will bring to the attention of African Ministers attending the WSIS
meeting in November."
"The meeting will also agree on a proposal for a regional electronic network to
serve as a support mechanism for the National Machineries as well as prepare a
declaration to be presented in the World Summit on the Information Society
(WSIS) that takes place in Tunis in November 2005," she said.

create monitoring and accountability mechanisms to ensure implementation of gender-sensitive policies and regulations as well as to analyse the gender impact of such policies in consultation and collaboration with women information technology specialists, women's organizations and gender equality advocates
To measure the effects of gender sensitive policies - and indeed the overall developmental impact of ICTs - evaluation and learning mechanisms must be built into all implementation programmes and projects.

It focuses on activities such as giving 8.5 million households high-speed Internet access, providing Internet training for 2 million housewives, and a range of other training measures pertaining to ICT use and e-business for women, including IT professionals.

Do "Students, parents and guidance counselors don't know that there is a thriving industry still in this country and IT is a viable career choice," is "Industry and the government doing enough need to let people know this."
"We want to encourage girls to pursue an IT career. We want to replace preconceptions with more positive and realistic perceptions about IT as an attractive career option for women"'

Realizing the need to reverse these enrollment trends, industry and nonprofit organizations have been proactive in encouraging girls to pursue math and science. 

They offer mentoring programs that give students the opportunity to learn from role models, in classroom workshops, and week long summer camps called Exploring Interests in Technology and Engineering (EXITE).
Professional bodies, associations
"Speakers at the special CIPS events will share their career stories, give a perspective of what it is like to be a woman working in IT and highlight the exciting opportunities in the IT field," added Gaudet. These types of programs aim to introduce girls to women who are making important contributions in technology to let them know that the industry is looking forward to a new generation of women who will work along with it to create and use new state-of-the-art technology that will benefit society.

combine computer science with other disciplines such as business, biology, psychology, linguistics, and even the fine arts, music, and philosophy a trend that is understandable given the pervasiveness of technology today and its applied use in many fields.

A similar trend is also emerging in the high technology industry itself where recruiters who traditionally only sought candidates with strong technical skills are now looking to recruit those with solid grounding in the softer skills (such as presentation, communication, and negotiation skills as well as the ability to innovate and work effectively with customers and within teams), in addition to core technical competencies.

Both of these trends should encourage more women to pursue math, science, and technology related studies an outcome that the IT industry and its leaders would welcome with open arms. A strong understanding of technology and its applied use in various fields is a necessity for any company, or country, which wishes to compete in a global, knowledge-based economy.

Initiatives to increase the representation of women in the ICT-related professions 

positively discriminate in favour of women by 2002All Universities and Colleges to achieve a 50:50 (or better) male-to-female admission rate on all ICT-related programmes by 2005

The Ministry of Public Service and Labour and the PSOs to by 2002 put in place and implement an ICT staff recruitment and promotion policy that will encourage women to embarked on an ICT-related career within the civil and public service.

Programme to facilitate the active involvement of women in the ICT service sector and Industry

C6.4 Initiatives to increase the number of women in management positions in the ICT Service sector and Industry

C6.5 Initiatives to encourage girls to undertake science and technology education and training programmes

The results also implicitly indicate that the gender dimensions of consultation
processes and plan implementation should be carefully monitored, to encourage
the participation of women's groups in all phases. 
To measure the effects of gender sensitive policies - and indeed the overall developmental impact of ICTs - evaluation and learning mechanisms must be built into all implementation programmes and projects.

d. Gender-specific indicators on ICT use and needs should be developed, and measurable performance indicators should be identified to assess the impact of funded ICT projects on the lives of women and girls.

factors that restrict women's equal participation in the
ICT sector,
discuss various gender issues that hamper the larger participation of women in education in general and IT training in particular.

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January 28, 2010


James Sani of Kaduna, Kaduna state, Nigeria says:



Interesting. How does one contribute to this policy commission? It is a wonderful initiative.


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