Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, has asked parents and guardians to support their children and wards, especially girls to venture into Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programmes.
The Minister said STEM programmes provided new and powerful opportunities for the future and that the digital market space would never be saturated because of innovation.
He said at present, organisations needed people with technological skills to be competitive and this was going to be the new norm, and key decisions would continue to be made based on these added skills that were found to be relevant to the organisation’s goals.
Dr Letsa was speaking at a programme to mark this year’s International Women’s Day celebration- Tech Forum and Fair in Ho, which is on the theme: “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for
Gender Equality” and the campaign message #EmbraceEquity.
The Minister said innovation and technology was the future, and that there was the need to develop the human resource potentials of women and girls to take advantage of it.
We must therefore leverage digital technology to create solutions that address the unique needs and challenges faced by women and girls to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.
The Minister entreated all and sundry to strive and promote gender equality through the empowerment of women to achieve sustainable development and good governance as a nation.
“Most women are found in the informal sector where they own and manage their businesses. Digital literacy skills provide them a rare opportunity to put their businesses on the world stage; advertise, sell, and develop strategic partnerships to grow their businesses.”
Dr Letsa said the Volta Regional Coordinating Council on its part has always envisioned a policy design that involved the use of innovation and technology to propel the development of the region. The Minister encouraged women and girls to continuously develop these skills to remain relevant and competitive in today’s digital world.
He said innovation and technology in today’s world was pivotal in addressing gender gaps, however digital literacy gap remained a challenge between women and men
This, he said, called for attention as reflected in the theme for this year’s celebration: “DigitAll: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.”
Mr Faisal Bawa, Programme Analyst- GBV, UNFPA, Accra, commended the Volta Regional Coordinating Council for effective partnership been them in promoting and protecting women in the region.
He said it was worthy to celebrate women who over the years contributed immensely to the socio-economic development of society.
Mr Bawa said the theme: “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality,” was appropriate as technology holds endless possibilities and had the power to expand network of opportunities.
He said the exclusion of women and girls in technology was perpetrated through violence and discrimination and these acts were ending the future of women and girls and increasing gender, economic and social inequality.
The Programme Analyst disclosed that an estimated 2.7 million people were not connected to the internet in the world and majority of these people were women and girls.
He said globally, 62 percent of men used internet while 47 per cent of women had access to internet, and this called for more work to done to bridge the gap.
Mr Bawa said some women and girls shied away from using the internet due to threats on the internet and this prevented them from using their technology to help in societal development.
The Programme Analyst said women and girls were sharpers of the future and that the more they were included in the creation of technology, the less vulnerable they would be, and society would benefit.