International Day of Girls in ICT, Access and Safety
June 20, 2022|
One fascinating fact about the world we live in is its constantly changing nature. There is always something new, but technology is at the core of this. This claim is based on the fact that technology has remained a constant despite the various changes.
In fact, as a result of this, the world is on its way to becoming fully digital. In a Forbes article, technology was described as a powerful change agent that we can use for both good and bad. Furthermore, in this article, it is recommended that we explore inclusivity and education to unleash technology's potential fully.
This statement means that we should advocate digital literacy, and in supporting it, we should consider all communities, especially underserved communities. We should also consider communities of people who are usually discriminated against or hardly represented, e.g., people living with disabilities, victims of exploitation, domestic violence, and women and girls.
For instance, statistics show that there is already a prevalent gender gap in the percentage of digital literates/internet users. According to Wikipedia, the Internet user gender gap was 20.7 percent in 2013 and 37 percent in 2019. The Internet user gender gap was 20.7 percent in 2013 and 37 percent in 2019. The Internet penetration rate in 2019 was 33.8 percent for men and 22.6 percent for women. Inclusion would also mean bridging this gender gap.
This is why the work Tech4Dev does through its program is essential. For example, the Women Techsters initiative is centered around equipping women with the ability to access decent job opportunities within the future workplace and the right skills and support structure to enable them to start and scale technology-enabled businesses and deep-tech start-ups.
The Women Techsters Initiative started by focusing on young African women within five African countries Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa, and Egypt, but has now expanded into ten other countries South Sudan, Morrocco, Tanzania, Angola, Mozambique, Algeria, Uganda, Ethiopia, Madagascar, DR Congo.
In addition to this, the Women Techsters Initiative set out on a mission to target young girls, sensitize them on the importance of making informed career choices in STEM and demystify the myths around women and girls in STEM through the Women Techsters Tech Drive. The expected outcome of this project was; to increase the students' knowledge in STEM to make informed career choices and increase the number of girls starting a career in STEM in the nearest future.
While encouraging young girls to join tech, it is essential to note that the internet has been infiltrated over the years in ways that have made it unsafe, which is why the theme for this year's International Day of ICT, Access and Safety is very central. Some of the things that make surfing the internet unsafe are cyberbullying, internet fraud, identity theft, etc.
In our quest to bridge the digital gap in underserved communities, we should consider that girls and young women thrive in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers need safe and reliable access to the internet and digital tools. While we encourage the building of systems that can help protect internet users, one of the ways we can ensure that people have access to the internet and can explore it safely is through Sensitizing people.
We can sensitize people on the hazards of the internet, how to protect their data, verify information, avoid clicking unsafe links or visiting dangerous websites, and take advantage of existing tools: Various tools help people practice safe internet surfing, e.g., antiviruses, adblockers, password managers, etc.