The training programme is a roll out on the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Penplusbytes, STEMbees and the South Labone Girls Vocational Training Centre in June this year which will seek to contribute to redressing the gender divide that has less women in ICT skills development and use, and empower women and girls to also leverage on ICT and its many benefits.
Having held training sessions on the 22nd & 23rd and 29th & 30th October, 2015, the training scheme is designed to introduce each batch of 20 girls to the basics of ICT skills acquisition for 4 weeks per batch with personnel from Penplusbytes and STEMbees offering free skills training, mentoring and practical capacity building in ICT for the about 200 estimated girls over the next 10 months.
ICTs hold a huge potential in the process to addressing the challenges of sustainable development at all levels of Ghana’s economy and placing women be at the center of this process is only but a natural course of action. This is however, yet to happen with women often sidelined from ICT policy and initiatives. Envisioning a society where women enjoy equal Internet access and rights hinges on opening up opportunities for information and communications technologies to more women.
Stressing on his organisation’s commitment to backing efforts to help girls to take advantage of the advancements in ICT, Kwami Ahiabenu, II, Executive Director of Penplusbytes said, “Currently, women are the more marginalized in accessing ICT compared to men and failure to get them in on its rudiments to enhance their businesses and livelihood would only mean an expansion of an already unpleasant gender gap.”
According to Lady Omega Hammond, a facilitator of the training from STEMbees, they are motivated to give other girls what they have also earned in the ICT sphere by encouraging them to be bold, curious and never doubt their own ability to change things for the better. “This is exactly what excites us about what we’ve committed to doing with these girls and their seriousness so far is enough to assure us of achieving our aim,” she added.
Penplusbytes is a not-for-profit organization driving change through innovations in three key areas: using new digital technologies to enable good governance and accountability, new media and innovations, and driving oversight for effective utilisation of mining, oil and gas revenue and resources.