On average across the developing world, nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and
the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions like sub-Saharan Africa. Even in rapidly growing economies the
gap is enormous. Nearly 35 percent fewer women than men in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa have
Internet access, and nearly 30 percent in parts of Europe and across Central Asia.
The above is part of report which was done by Intel sometime back, titled ” Women and the Web”
In the last few years enough efforts have been made in Kenya to bridge the gender gap on the ICT scene. The work being done by the likes of Akirachix has been more than extraordinary but if you look at the quote above, you realize that more is still needed to be done. For that, I was happy to hear what Microsoft and Intel have been up to in regards to helping Kenyan women and girls adopt ICT in their daily lives.
About 120 young women from high schools in Nairobi County on Saturday received career guidance from Microsoft DigiGirlz day.The event was co-hosted with Intel and covered the latest innovations in technology and opportunities in the sector.
DigiGirlz is a Global Microsoft Youth Spark Program which gives high school girls the opportunity to learn about careers in technology, connect with women industry leaders in ICT as well as participate in hands on computer and technology workshops.
According to Amos Nduyoh, Deputy Principal St Martin Girls Secondary School.
“Most of our girl students shy away from sciences and IT with the notion that these are hard and a reserve for boys. We have been trying to encourage them to take these up and dispelling the myth that any of the sexes is brighter than the other. We are happy that ladies in Microsoft are here to show ladies can play an active role in ICT and to encourage and nurture our students. “
And Agatha Gikunda, Software and Sales Lead, Intel East Africa, had the following to tell the girls:
“Events such as DigiGirlz help demystify the industry by profiling successful Kenyan women in IT. Relevant role models are essential in creating an interest in the IT field and helping young women visualise a career in IT. However, an interest in IT does not only prepare women for a career but also empowers them with ability to leverage technology in their daily lives to access information and convert it into knowledge”
Nearly 19,000 students have attended the Microsoft DigiGirlz Technology Programs (both camps and one-day events) since they began in 2000. DigiGirlz gives girls the opportunity to meet one-on-one with Microsoft employees, participate in workshops and product demonstrations.