Girls urged to embrace ICT

BY HAZVINEI MWANAKA

The Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Courier Services has challenged girls and young women to consider taking up careers in ICTs and sciences to deepen their economic and social empowerment.

Speaking during Girls in ICT commemorations at Gokomere in Masvingo on Wednesday, ICT services director in the ministry, Beaullah Chirume said there were still low numbers of the girl child in the ICT sector.

“As you may be aware, ICTs are pervasive across all sectors and these rapid technology developments are creating new opportunities which will redefine jobs in the future (that) do not even exist today. As such, digital skills are essential for all careers,” she said.

Chirume said despite all the progress made in ICTs during the past years, the digital divide still remained evident and is compounded by disparities and inequalities in access, use and skills between men and women, countries and underserved areas and also persons with disabilities and other specific needs.

“I strongly believe that more girls and young women will become critical thinkers and creators of the technologies which are so critical to address the most pressing issues we face as a country — alleviation of poverty, education, health, environment or sustainable development,” she said.

Pilot and guest of honour at the event, Chipo Gatsi said women played a big role in poverty eradication.

“To date over 111 000 girls and young women have taken part in more than 3 500 events done in 140 countries in commemoration of this day around the world and today we make history in this day,” she said.

Gatsi encouraged young women to choose a path they want to take and realise that no matter the challenges they face they have to dream big.

“There should be no difference between the girl child and boy child in terms of opportunities, but one has to work hard,” she said.

Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe head of marketing and international relations, Sibonginkosi Muteyiwa said the day was meant to encourage young women to venture into the ICT sector and specifically to take up technical subjects.

“There is still a lot of fear for young women to take up those subjects, but the government is doing a lot in encouraging and enlightening young girls of the benefits of taking up the subjects,” she said.

The day was set up by the International Telecommunications Union in 2012.

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