UN showcases young female Nigerian tech innovators
The UN Women on Thursday showcased various technological innovations by young women and men that advanced gender equality and women’s empowerment in Nigeria.
Beatrice Eyong, UN Women’s country representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said the event was part of activities to mark International Women’s month in Abuja.
Ms Eyong noted the gender gap in employment and education in the technological sector in Nigeria, with women making up only 22 per cent of the total engineering and technology university graduates annually.
“This is due to gender stereotypes and social norms that still categorise jobs in these sectors as men’s jobs, which inhibits women from applying to study and demonstrate an interest in such subjects. It also prevents companies from hiring qualified women for these roles,” the UN official stated.
According to her, the showcase will demonstrate young women and men in Nigeria digital and innovative solutions to various issues across several sectors.
Also speaking, Kashifu Inuwa, director-general of the National Information and Technology Development Agency (NITDA), said the organisation, through its several policies and strategies, had trained over 200,000 young people on ICT to bridge the gender divide.
“We trained no fewer than 222,000 Young people in ICT, and we believe that we have a growing population, vibrant entrepreneurial and expanding tech eco-system, which, if we leverage, can provide an opportunity for us to achieve Gender Equality and women empowerment,” added Mr Inuwa.
Pauline Tallen, Minister of Women Affairs, stressed the need for women and young girls to leverage technological innovations to improve their lives and bridge the gender disparity in all sectors.
Ms Tallen highlighted the need to empower women and girls with digital skills and access to technology and support women-led businesses.
Also, Ola Williams, the country manager of Microsoft Nigeria, said the organisation had partnered with the federal government to skill five million youths through the ministry of communication and digital economy to improve technological innovations.
Mr Williams said these would improve access to jobs, the right tools and resources, and markets for their business.