Digital solutions provider, inq.Digital Nigeria, has joined the global call for the increased involvement of the girl child in ICT on the International Girls in ICT Day. The firm made the call at the 2021 International Girls in ICT Day event themed ‘Connected Girls, Creating Brighter Futures’, which held in Lagos, according to a statement issued by the company on Tuesday, 27th of April 2021.

The event was set aside by the International Telecommunications Union to build awareness about the gender digital divide, support technology education and skills training, and encourage more girls to actively pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

At the programme attended by educationists, civil society groups and policymakers, factors inhibiting the participation of the girl child in STEM were highlighted, and solutions proffered. Also the tech firm said Peak Lane International College won the graphics design competition held at the event with prizes, including a mentorship placement at inq.Digital and an educational tour of inq.Digital’s ICT facilities.

The managing director of inq.Digital Nigeria, Valentine Chime, said while significant progress had been achieved with increasing the participation of girls in STEM, the gender gap in ICT remained unacceptably wide. He noted that representation continued to be disproportionately higher for males than for females, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Chime expressed concern that the gap was even wider in Nigeria, relative to countries like Ghana and South Africa. He said investment in early ICT education, affirmative action on the hiring of women in STEM and a reorientation to change the sociocultural beliefs and practices that deter women’s participation should be explored to reduce the gap.

The convener of the International Girls in ICT Day, Ufuoma Emuophedaro, noted that the global event presented a platform for various stakeholders to not only highlight the gender digital divide but also to proffer solutions and build partnerships that would help accelerate the movement towards the increased involvement of girls in ICTs.

She expressed appreciation for inq. Digital’s continuous support for the Girls in ICT initiative and commended the inq.Digital’s mentorship programme which provided an opportunity for girls to gain a firsthand experience of working in the ICT sector.

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