When one thinks of women in technology, especially in Africa more often than not, only a few names probably come to mind. Technology, in its various forms, including Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), continues to redefine and revolutionize the way we all live and work.
As the world is becoming a much better place with more technological advancement and the role of women can never be overemphasized in the world growth today, women played essential roles in Information technology sector though the ratio of men compared to that of women in this sector is not balanced. There is a need for women to set their focus on achieving more in this sector and prove the world that gender equality in ICT is a must.
Women and girls should remove the mentality that Information Communication and Technology (ICT) is for men only and strive to enter into that field so they could multiply their opportunities and achieve equal-partner status in the ICT driven economy. It is also that time these pro girls and women empowerment movements incorporate ICT as critical empowerment for them and look beyond donating things like clothes and pads.
Even statistics have proved that there are few women in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) driven industry hence women need to be empowered and break out of their shells to take part in ICT field. Its high time, women have to take up the challenge and gets the ball rolling.
Other countries like Ghana and Nigeria have taken a step concerning women empowerment through ICT as they set up a “Girls in ICT” programme, a project that seeks to increase the number of girls studying ICT at all levels of the education system. The aim was to establish a substantive amount of competence.
ICT professionals (women) to hold positions at all levels in the ICT sector as well as setting up their ICT businesses to create jobs and even to shun unemployment. Such programmes are an eye-opener. Computer maintenance, programming, website development, software engineering, graphic designing should not only be reserved for men, but women and girls should break the cycle and do the courses in their large numbers.
The world needs women that can also shape the technology world and emulate the likes of Mark Zukerberg, Bill Gates and make their marks exactly like these cougars. Women need to show that there is no sector they can’t work with and the world at the tremendous need to encourage more women to engage in this sector.
Nevertheless, many women are venturing into the technological industry, defying all the odds stacked against them and excelling in this male-dominated field. Some of these groups include the Django girls, Python women as well as the Andela girls. Africa needs more of these groups and that women should take up their game as far as ICT is concerned because they are under-represented.