As the world celebrates the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD), the Executive Director, of the Nurture Women and Girl Child Initiative (NWAGCI), Mrs. Doris Eyong Kokomma has called on government at all levels to close the digital gender gap to avoid economic and social inequalities, saying that it holds the key to a robust economic growth.
Mrs. Eyong who stated this while commemorating the 2023 IWD celebration, she pointed out that in spite of increased awareness and sensitization on the issue of gender equality and gender inclusiveness, the society still discriminate against women attributing it to culture or tradition. This discrimination also affects the society as women with great talents and potentials are neglected merely on the basis of gender.
The UN Women’s gender snapshot 2022 report states “that women’s exclusion from the digital world has shaved $1 trillion from the gross domestic product of low and middle-income countries in the last decade- a loss that will grow to $1.5 trillion by 2025 without action”.
“Nonetheless, women’s carefulness in resource management and developmental skills cannot be overemphasized, they remain the sustaining force of the future, given the needed encouragement, conducive environment and opportunity; women have the potential to change the narrative and make the world greater and a better place for everyone to live in”, she posited.
The theme of this year’s commemoration, “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender equality” is very apt as it aligns with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th session of the Commission on the status of women (CSW-69) considering the proven capacity of women in diverse fields of life such as Law, medicine, pharmacy, digital technology, engineering and literary art just to mention but a few.
Government must take on its responsibility of connectivity and ensure people down to the grass root especially women and girls are connected to internet, it should also make sure that the rights of women and girls are protected online and off-line, Protection of women and girls digital rights holds the key to all-round development in every facet of the society.
Women and girls should be encouraged to study in the stem areas; hence this will produce more women in the technology and digital space. According to the world economic forum report, “by 2050, 75% of jobs will be related to stem areas. Yet today, women hold just 22% of positions in artificial intelligence…”
She used the opportunity of the International Women’s Day to call on the federal lawmakers to consider and pass the Gender and Equal Opportunity Bill, saying it will reduce gender-based violations and legally equip women to challenge the inequalities confronting them including Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) which has continued to rear its ugly head in the society.
She said her organization Nurture Women and Girl Child Initiative will continue to provide succor and support to women and children as well as promote the welfare and rights of women and girls especially their right to education. International Women’s Day is celebrated annually on 8th of March.