Gender Policy Dialogue Nigeria
The World Bank has been organizing a Gender Policy Dialogue throughout Nigeria with the Government of Nigeria and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID). The dialogue appears aimed at removing discrimination and gender inequalities in society.
In this light, Jidaw and the Women in ICT blog is of the view that it is important to encourage the full participation of girls and women in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). Not just as users but as professionals, creators and entrepreneurs. ICT is not just an area for reducing costs or improving operational efficiency. ICT is a priority sector for job and wealth creation, national transformation and inclusive, sustainable development. And the world needs the ideas, strengths and contributions of women in ICT.
Jidaw agrees 100% with the assertion in the World Bank release on the Gender Policy Dialogue that “Eliminating barriers that discriminate against women working in certain sectors or occupations could increase labor productivity by as much as 25 percent in some countries”. Nigeria Computer Society (NCS), the largest and top association and advocacy group for IT professionals and stakeholders, has also wished the dialogue success. And as NCS observed, it is however hoped that the dialogue is truly multi stakeholder and that most especially stakeholders in ICT will be part of charting the way forward in such important discussions. All stakeholders need to be involved to ensure the dialogue doesn't end up being just be another talk shop.
Technology needs to be in the equation. We live, interact and do business in a technology driven world. Massive digital exclusion is a threat to sustainable development. Gender talk without action and substance will not get us anywhere. How seriously can women live their dreams and create a better future for themselves and their communities without ICT? ICT is central to all sectors mentioned in the World Bank release – economic empowerment for women, improvement of health conditions and access to justice and the political voice of women in the country.
NCS is a key promoter of IT for sustainable development and governance and has contributed significantly to the IT policy development and practice in Nigeria. In this regard, to make the dialogue meaningful and truly participatory, it is essential that NCS is a part of this multi-stakeholder platform to explore ways and best practices on mainstreaming gender and ensuring inclusive growth.
Recently Jidaw, Women in ICT blog and NCS joined other stakeholders to celebrate World Telecommunication & Information Society Day, which had the 2012 theme: “Women and Girls in ICT” Wishing World Bank and the Gender Policy Dialogue great success! The world needs the ideas, strengths and contributions of women in ICT #GirlsinICT #WTISD Girls and Women in ICT