By Bongiwe Zwane-Maseko
Deputy Prime Minister Themba Masuku says there is a need to increase women’s representation in leadership and decision-making roles within the ICT sector.
He was speaking during the Taiwan Night –Celebrating Women in Tech event held on the sidelines of the 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, USA.
Coincidentally, the event was held on the eve of International Women’s Day, celebrated globally on the 8th of March. The theme for this year’s women’s day is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.”
According to the Eswatini Government Facebook page, he said empowering women and girls through the provision of meaningful access to the internet and digital technologies could undoubtedly provide them with opportunities to start businesses and to access education, health, social and financial services.
“It could also be a powerful tool to enable women and girls to participate in governance, to associate, assemble and express themselves on digital rights issues that are dear to them and to develop relevant content for their empowerment.”
“The growing digital gender divide in access to the internet in our societies limit the potential of the internet and Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) to contribute to achieving gender equality, women’s rights and digital rights for women and girls,” the DPM said.
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He added that His Majesty’s government continues to support women and girls in ICT, through gender-sensitive legislations and policy frameworks, providing scholarships for young women and girls in ICT in collaboration with the private sector and partners.
“Government has also adopted e-commerce platforms to bring women entrepreneurs and retailers new business opportunities enabling them to enter traditionally male-dominated sectors and to allow them the flexibility to balance care responsibilities and paid work,” Masuku said.