Grace Munisi, Generation Equality Forum (GEF)’s gender health development specialist said on Monday that the centre will provides mentorship and coaching on various issues relating to the ICT and innovation to more women and girls as well as reduce gender gap in digital ecosystem.
The centre will be able to develop their ideas and benefit from it, move from one position to another position, transforming the lives of women and girls and inspire them to study science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects.
“I believe the hub can help bridge the gender gap in the technology programming industry and provide qualified female talent that is necessary for today’s increasingly technological job market,” she said.
Supporting women and girls can play a key role in the advancement of technology, “as result let us encourage women and girls to join the ICT industry and help transform the workspace and even get more computer programmers, innovators who will help us address challenges we have in our community,” she said.
The development of ICT has strong potential to transform economies and societies in several ways such as women can use ICT to do their work at home and earn income, carry out business and other issues.
She said if Tanzania will be able to invest in ICT industry, will create more employment for women and girls and tackling women and girls unemployment.
“We also need to advocate gender equality seriously in all what we are doing because most of women are losing jobs especially in informal sector because they don’t get mentor who can guide them to develop their ideas and later on move where they are to other position,” she said.
“The hub should provide skills that support women and girls in promoting women innovators and by giving women access to the knowledge, skills and expertise they will grow, sustain and scale their businesses,” Grace said, adding that the ICT’s role is a tool for development has attracted the sustained attention globally.
“To harness this potential for ICT and innovation environment we must then embrace greater social inclusiveness, transformation including creativity and entrepreneurship for individuals and communities, and the use of local resources, skills, and knowledge to ensure meaningful gender equality,” she said.
She further said that a “gender divide” within the digital divide is apparent and reflected not only in the lower numbers of women users of ICT, compared to men, but also in the persistence of gender-specific structural inequalities that constitute barriers to access.
“Unless this gender divide is specifically addressed, there is a risk that ICT may exacerbate existing inequalities between women and men and create new forms of inequality.”
The activist also said that strengthening the establishment of women innovation hub and clubs that will provide incubation space for women to build confidence, learn, practice, innovate and utilize the opportunities that come with technology.