The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) Women’s Caucus on Wednesday joined the rest of the world in observance and celebration of women with calls for governments and national Parliaments to give priority to national initiatives that uplift women in digital technologies.
In this year’s International Women’s Day, it said, sought to recognize and celebrate the contribution of women and girls’ advances in transformative technologies and digital education.
The commemorations, held at the PAP headquarters in Midrand, South Africa, took place on the sidelines of the ongoing Sittings of the PAP Permanent Committees which kicked off on 6 March until 17 March 2023.
Speaking at the high-level celebrations to mark International Women’s Day, the Chairperson of the PAP Women’s Caucus, Amina Tidjani Yaya, implored governments to prioritize national strategies to improve access to digital technologies by women.
“We call upon governments and national Parliaments to give priority to the national strategies on the development of digital technologies to assist women and girls to get capital to become leaders, business women and positive change agents.
“The capacity to provide jobs and equal opportunities in information and communication technologies for both boys and girls should be looked at,” said Yaya.
Recognizing the power wielded by digital technologies, Khadija Arouhal, Vice Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Gender, Family, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, said digital technologies are a means to achieve gender parity.
“Digital technologies are a tool to achieve gender equality because women in developing countries still lag behind in using technologies. We need to harness the use of these technologies for the betterment of women,” proffered Arouhal.
Chairperson of the PAP Committee on Transport, Industry, Communications, Energy, Science and Technology, Behdja Lammali noted that development cannot take place without reducing the digital gap that exists between males and females.
“Capital should be directed at addressing the digital gap between males and females. Development cannot be achieved without reducing the gap as there is inequality in the distribution of digital wealth,” Lammali said.
Participants at the commemorations called for the urgent creation of safe digital spaces that do not exacerbate the abuse of women and girls.
This entails the enactment of laws that protect women and girls against cyber crimes such as cyberbullying and sexual predators.