Women asked to embrace science and technology

ARUA -Women in Uganda have been advised to embrace to fight barriers that limit their participation in science, innovation, and technology. The call was made on Wednesday as residents of Arua City joined the rest of the country and world to mark International Women’s Day 2023.

Judith Drate, the Arua City principal community development officer, said the low involvement of women in information and communications technology [ICT] sector is one of the factors promoting socio-economic and gender inequities in the country. “Technology is taking over the world yet few women are embracing ICT. We need to empower women to participate in ICT if we are to fight poverty and reduce gender inequities,” Drate said.

Jackie Bless Pinyoloya, projects officer with SIHA Network, who represented the civil society organizations [CSOs], said that globally women have been unconnected to the internet, citing recent research by International Telecommunication Union [ITU].

She said lack of access to the internet has made several women miss the benefits of the digital world. “As an organisation [SIHA Network], we are implementing a number of strategies to increase the involvement of women in ICT, but few are embracing our interventions,” Pinyoloya noted.

The mayor of Ayivu Division, Arua City, Malon Avutia, while addressing the gathering called upon the men to support women in embracing ICT. He, however, noted that for interventions aimed at increasing women’s participation in ICT to succeed, men need to be equally targeted in the interventions.

On her side, the chairperson of women’s council, Arua City, Doreen Joy Adiru urged the women to deliberately embrace ICT to reduce on inequities. “You need to embrace mobile banking and online marketing to reach more customers with your product,” Adiru said.

She added: “As women, we can be on equal footing if we embrace science, innovation, and technology.”

Meanwhile, the deputy mayor of Arua City, Milly Injikuru, warned women against embracing dubious practices as they increase their involvement in ICT. “As we advocate for ICT, stay warned of the dangers of same-sex relationships,” Injikuru warned.

The Member of Parliament representing Ayivu Division, Arua City, Geoffrey Feta, said that for women involvement in ICT to be increased, girl child education needs to be supported. “Women participation in ICT cannot succeed without empowering the girl child through education,” Feta said.

While releasing the 2022 Uganda Advanced Certificate of Education [UACE] results last week, Uganda National Examination Board [UNEB] warned of the low participation of female students in sciences, noting that only 6.1 percent of all the female candidates offered mathematics while 15.9 percent offered biology, further noting that the low participation of women in sciences was worsening gender inequality in the country.

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