The Executive Vice Chairman of the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta has stressed the need for nations to focus more on how ICT can be leveraged for increased empowerment for women.
Danbatta, who stated this earlier this week in a goodwill message, he delivered at a webinar organised by Zinari Communications Limited with the theme: “Mainstreaming Rural Women Enterprise Development into Digital Economy Initiative: The Opportunities, Strategies and Constraints,” argued that if this empowerment is not done, women face greater risk in the existing inequalities between women and men.
“There has been a general concern that unless the gender divide between men and women is specifically addressed, there is a risk that ICT may worsen existing inequalities between women and men which could create new forms of inequality,” the NCC Boss, who was represented at the event by the Head, Online Media and Special Publication, NCC, Mrs. Grace Ojougboh said.
He noted that if the gender dimensions of ICT in terms of access and use, capacity-building opportunities, employment and potential for empowerment are explicitly identified and addressed, ICT can be a powerful catalyst for political, economic and social empowerment of women, and the promotion of gender equality.
While making the further cases for women, who he said have been historically central to the socio-economic and political development of any nation, Danbatta stressed the need for nations to focus more on how ICT can be leveraged for increased empowerment for women.
He also advocated increased collaboration between public and private-sector stakeholders toward advancing gender equality and women empowerment, notably by encouraging young women and girls to pursue studies and careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).