We must include girls in tech-field
Statistics indicate that girls are lagging behind in use of and access to technology.
This, inadvertently, keeps them from not only accessing many opportunities online, but also from using tech to solve problems dogging them within the society.
With this background, it is vital that more opportunities are created for girls in the country and the world to afford, access and use digital tools.
First off, it is important to conduct research to find out how many girls in the country use these tools.
While various studies have been conducted on the digital gender divide, a new Unicef report indicates that most of the studies have been focusing on women and very little on girls under 18.
Such a study would indicate what is the current status, the number of girls who are able to use these digital tools, as well as the opportunities available and the challenges they face.
The findings will highlight the gaps the community, government and other stakeholders need to fill.
It will provide the opportunities to ensure girls are included in the tech-space not only as users but also inventors and creators.
This is important as indicated by the theme of this year’s International Day of the Girl Child (celebrated yesterday October 11); Digital generation.
Our generation, which seeks to amplify the ability of girls in the tech field and that filling the digital gender gap will come with economic dividends.
The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed most people online, and without the necessary tools, girls are already at a disadvantage.
We must act fast to bring them up to par and improve their experience online as it also contributes to this digital divide.
A study by Plan International, the Truth Gap has indicated that misinformation and fake news keeps girls away from the internet.
The girls are not only unable to navigate the load of information online, but are also afraid to be seen as promoting or engaging with misinformation.
Others have become victims of disinformation shared to discredit women and girls personally and professionally, and thus affecting their mental health, which eventually keeps them from using these tools.
Addressing such issues, fighting misinformation as well as acting on bullying reports are necessary, to make girls feel safe online and encourage their participation in the digital space.