Abuja — GOVERNMENT has reiterated its commitment to empowering Nigerian girls and women through its information and communications technology (ICT) gender empowerment initiatives.
Minister of Communication Technology, Dr Omobola Johnson, stated this during an interactive session with young women undergoing training at the Ministry's 1000 Girls ICT Training Programme in Abuja.
She reiterated that the Ministry of Communication Technology was empowering women and girls to embrace ICTS to actualize their potential and contribute to the economic development of Nigeria through various specific technology initiatives.
Johnson disclosed that the 1 000 Girls programme was part of the federal government's GWIN programme aimed at empowering girls and women in Nigeria.
She disclosed that through the GWIN programme of Ministry of Communication Technology and four Ministries -coordinated by the Finance Ministry were working together to ensure that women and girls, especially the disenfranchised, were empowered.
She said several programmes were being created to ensure the empowerment, employment and inclusion of women in the nation's development.
“For us in ICT, this particular program is important, because when you look at the statistics there is a big gender divide in the world of ICT and when you look at the way ICT is relevant in all sectors and beginning to take over the way things are done in everything, that gender divide in ICT means that women will be left further behind if we don't encourage them to embrace ICTs,” Johnson said.
She said the Ministry of Communication Technology had a number of programmes under the GWIN programme.
"We hope this will contribute to bridging the gender divide.”
She added that statistics show that there were 32 percent fewer women online than men in developing economies.
“We are actually starting to close that divide because if we didn't do this, the divide actually begins to get bigger.”
She said the Ministry is collaborating with Huawei, a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, in the training programme to empower girls with ICT skills and help improve the employability of the girls as well as increase their interest in pursuing careers in ICT.
“The training programme will also empower the 1 000 girls with ICT skills and knowledge in the knowledge economy. The programme is expected to help reduce the imbalance in ICT adoption and appropriation among men and women in the country.”