By Florence Afriyie Mensah
Kumasi, March 8, GNA – The United Nations Development Programme in Ghana (UNDP – Ghana) has requested stakeholders to adopt a gender-transformation approach to digital education in the country.
In doing this, the UNDP suggested that an enabling environment in technology and innovation for women and girls be created to ensure full participation.
“We must be more intentional about addressing the persistent gender gaps in technology training and skills development.
Thankfully, through the work of Soronko Academy, Developers in Vogue, the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology and other technology training institutions that run gender-responsive programs, Ghana has made steady gains in this direction.
We need to encourage more women and girls to participate in the technology industry,” Ms. Jennifer Asuako, Gender Team Lead, UNDP – Ghana, shared these with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on the occasion of the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD).
Ms Asuako stressed the need for stakeholders to continue to work to address the online gender-based violence, such as cyberbullying, cyber stalking, and exploitation of women and girls.
Policies and regulations that held people accountable for cyberbullying and exploitation, according to her, must be strengthened and enforced.
Ms. Asuako observed that the government’s promotion of digitalization as a key policy objective had increased women’s participation in all aspects of Ghana’s digital economy.
“We must therefore intensify public education on the dangers of online gender-based violence”, she appealed.
This year’s IWD is themed “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
Mr. Seth Akumani, Head of Exploration, UNDP-Ghana argued that for centuries, gender bias had been a pervasive issue in many communities.
Despite progress made, he said women still faced discrimination and lack of opportunity to showcase their skills.
He believed technology and innovation could play important roles in breaking gender barriers – not only by providing more opportunities for female entrepreneurs and innovators to be heard, but also by creating new products designed specifically with women’s needs in mind.
Mr Akumani said the world had come a long way in breaking down gender barriers and creating equal opportunities for men and women in societies.
According to him, results from the COVID-19 Business Tracker, a checker monitoring the performances of businesses in Ghana, supported by UNDP, affirmed rising use of digital technology (mobile money and internet) among businesses following the pandemic.
Despite the rise in the use of technology among businesses, women’s participation in the tech industry was low, citing that in Africa’s technology industry, women constituted only 30 percent of the professionals.
The IWD is a global day observed on March 8 every year, to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
The Day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.