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Minister calls for inclusive digital innovation for women

The minister of women Affairs Dame Pauline Tallen with stakeholders at the 2023 National Women’s Conference in Abuja. Photo Credit: Azizatu Sani/Radio Nigeria.

The Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, has urged stakeholders to develop digital tools to meet women’s needs through the advancement of gender equality in technology innovation.

She made the call in Abuja, during the 2023 National Women’s Conference with a theme “Inclusive Technology and Digital Innovation for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment”.

Dame Pauline Tallen also stressed the need to bridge the gender digital divide and create a more inclusive innovation eco-systems that promotes safe and gender-responsive technology and innovation.

“Despite the rapid growth of the country’s tech sector, only very few women have the opportunity to participate at the ecosystem which is largely dominated by men. It is also disheartening that only about 30 percent of 93 surveyed technology companies in Nigeria are owned by women and third of this companies employed no woman at all” she said .

The Minister further appealed to stakeholders to ensure the protection of women and girls from all forms of Gender based violence perpetrated online by strengthening digital innovation to address the trend.

The United Nations Country Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Beatric Eyoung explained that it was fundamental to reflect and investigate the ways technology and digital innovation could serve as tools in advancing gender equality at all levels.

“ we must therefore harness the potential of technology and digital innovation in a way that it is inclusive of women from all backgrounds, rural women with disability, women and girls leaving with HIV and design technological solutions informed by their lived experiences realities and needs” she said.

The representative of the “Side by Side Movement for Gender Justice, Rev. Joseph Hayab, urged religious leaders to genuinely advocate for gender justice, and equality in all aspects of lives by being example to their followers.

The national women’s conference which had a panel discussion on Inclusive Technology and Digital Innovation for Gender Equality and Women Empowerment also featured the recognition of women who have exceled in field of technology and digital innovation.

Reporting by Azizatu Sani ; Editing by Chinasa Ossai and Annabel Nwachukwu