Empowering women in the digital space to promote their well-being – stakeholders

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A stakeholder forum on empowering women to harness the full potential of the internet to exercise their rights and promote their socio-economic well-being concluded in Accra on Wednesday.

The forum, organized by the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) with support from the World Wide Web Foundation, also focused on how stakeholders could promote Women’s Rights Online (WRO).

The managing director of the MFWA, Sulemana Braimah, underlined the participants that more women should be interested in technology.

He stated that the inequalities women had suffered over the years would be directly replicated in terms of the current digital revolution.

According to him, the more delays in catching up; the more difficult it would be to close the digital gender gap.

Mr Braimah regretted that women, in general, had not received the necessary support in decision-making and leadership positions, even though they made up a larger part of the population and it was therefore unfair to leave them behind technologically.

The Executive Director also stressed that one of the most important solutions to the problem of gender inequality and discrimination against women is access to the Internet and to education.

Madam Dora Boamah Mawutor, a representative from MFWA, shed light on the reasons for the gender gap in the digital space, noting that high data costs, unreliable internet services, insufficient relevant content, lack of digital skills and online security challenges are among the challenges.

Digital equality, she said, not only promotes individual rights and the empowerment of women, but benefits society as a whole, as it is a major engine of economic growth and prosperity.

She explained that it is therefore necessary to close the digital gender gap to ensure that women and girls can participate fully online without fear for their safety.

Madam Mawutor urged the government and the private sector to invest more in information and communication technology (ICT) to improve network connectivity and accessibility across the country and to vigorously raise awareness of digital literacy among girls and women.

In a speech read out on his behalf, National Security Advisor Dr. Albert Antwi-Boasiako that the government will continue to take measures to ensure that women’s digital rights are not violated.

He explained that various measures had already been taken to further protect the personal data of the population and to guarantee the freedom of Internet users in Ghana, regardless of their gender, among other things.

According to him, the government, through the Ministry of Communications and Digitization, had implemented measures aimed at encouraging more girls and women to be interested in ICT and also to actively pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) .

“The government is doing its part to ensure that women’s rights online are protected,” he added.

A report from the MFWA was presented at the forum showing that online harassment is one of the greatest challenges facing women in the country’s online space.

Source: ghanaweb.com

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