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Women empowerment in ICT: A step towards development

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ICT- 1Information and Communication Technology (ICT) provides enormous opportunities and avenues for national development.

Women in particular are not supposed to use ICT for marketing and advertising alone, but to use the technology for information gathering and sharing of knowledge. There is, therefore, the need for the country to adequately train women in the use of ICT.

Some girls or women, who take courses in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics other related programmes excel.

Gender equality is pivotal to development, and ICT is increasingly becoming an innovative development tool. There is the need to integrate gender issues into ICT to empower women socially, economically and politically.

Recommendations for achieving the transformation provided at the Women ICT and Development (WICTAD) international forum and the WSIS+10 review meeting, held in Geneva, recently, include establishing equality to women’s access to ICT in all its forms by taking into account different levels of access, opportunities and barriers women and girls face.

Women’s access to and knowledge of ICT in the developed world has led to improvement in the quality of lives of women through enhanced economic empowerment, political participation, health care, improved education, which indicates that access to ICT can make a fundamental change.

Therefore, the best practices for strengthening ICT in education policies and programmes should be encouraged.  We need to strengthen learning and improve access to quality education with mobile devices or through ICT.

The primary actors in education, mainly learners, teachers, administrators, parents and communities should be involved in the change taking place in teaching and learning via ICT, and more women should be encouraged to aspire to become software developers.

Research shows that a few women operate in technical sections, and there should be a policy direction towards attracting more girls and young women into ICT education. Advocacy to whip up interest of girls in ICT should be intensified and ICT companies need to recruit and train women in ICT.

Though some level of progress has been made in encouraging women to be part of ICT, the majority of girls in the rural areas of Ghana and other developing countries do not have access to ICT.

Government in collaboration with other stakeholders should formulate and implement appropriate policies to promote ICT education with particular reference to women.

It is also important for government to strengthen programmes that focus on gender-sensitive curricula in formal and non-formal education, enhance communication and media literacy for women with a view to building the capacity of girls and women.

It is pathetic to see young people learning ICT but without computers. The use of ICT should be beyond the use of mobile phones.

Today, many young people own iPads, tablets, laptops, and mobile phones, but they do not know the positive knowledge they can acquire through ICT.

Negative use of ICT should be discouraged and young people should desist from internet fraud and ‘’hooking up sexual relationships and other social vices’’.

They should rather be encouraged to make good use of their time by acquiring useful ICT knowledge and skills for their wellbeing and national development.

Women empowerment through ICT is vital to development and it behooves stakeholders to play effective roles to achieve this objective.

By Dennis Peprah
Source: GNA

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