Provide affordable data to bridge gender gap – women technologists

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Women technologists at the ongoing Social Media Week (SMW) appealed to telecommunication industries to provide reduced, accessible and affordable data to close the gender gap in internet access.

The women made the appeal at the 5th Edition of the event on Wednesday in Lagos.

They said that reduced data would create more space for more women involvement in technology on the fast expanding technology space in Africa.

Mrs Tope Ogundipe, the Programme Director, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria (PIN) earmarked a five point action plan to close the gender gap in the digital space in Nigeria.



“Set gender targets for National Information Communication Technology (ICT) policy, improve internet access and affordability, integrate digital skills in primary school curricular, provide relevant content and service online.

“And pass the Nigeria Digital Right and Freedom Bill,” Ogundipe said.

Mrs Busayo Obisakin, the Senior Counsellor, Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife said that data and internet cost had been a major factor in the reduction of women involvement on the use of internet for business in Nigeria.

Obisakin urged the telecom industry to make internet available to under-served areas, adding that most women in remote areas were not aware of the importance of internet.



“Some areas in Nigeria have no internet and some that have internets are difficult to access.

“Some women are not interested or cannot afford the data due to the high cost and lack of awareness on the advantage of internet, therefore they need education, ” Obisakin said.

Ms Oreoluwa Lesi, the Executive Director Women Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) urged the government to inculcated technology in the curriculum of education from primary school to the tertiary level.

Lesi said that most women were not interested in the technology because of low level of encouragement from their background.

“Awareness is one of the major causes of low female involvement in technology.

“If the school curricular has technology as a compulsory subject, more women will know the advantage of technology,” Lesi said.

Akinola Babatunde Communication Manager, Intel Express urged telecom industries to do more to connect more rural communities.

Babatunde called for reduction of the rate of data so that talented women could build career in technology, especially in the rural areas. (NAN)

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