Written by Elizatar Mensah, edited & published by Arakunrin Lekan
Technology is one of the fastest-growing and most in-demand industries; as well as promoting gender equality. Too many young women in Africa today are still unable to realize their full economic and self-empowerment potential.
According to ILO report based on school-to-work transitions surveys in 32 developing countries, being young and female is a double strike for people looking for job. In fact, females account for 76 percent of out-of-school adolescents. Women have a greater rate of unemployment, persisting salary disparities, and a longer school-to-work transition than men.
Lack of resources, early marriages and pregnancies, prejudice in recruitment and working conditions, and lack of recognition by males outside of their houses are all factors that prohibit them from finding a respectable career.
Seeking to bridge the gender gap in the technological sector, a few institutions and initiatives are promoting involvements in encouraging Ghanaian women.
Developers in Vogue
Developers In Vogue is one of such organizations which was established in 2017 and aims at creating an amazing community of African women who are passionate about using tech to revolutionize Africa and beyond.
Its value is to train and help women become a part of vibrant network of young innovators. Their programs include Data science meetups, Graduate Training programs, Student Internship program (which runs for 2 months) and Campus Ambassadors (which gives one a chance to promote the works of Developer in Vogue, increasing awareness and recruiting women from their various tertiary campus).
Soronko Academy is also an institution whose 2021 Code with Agility program was one I was honored to be a part of. Code with Agility is an educational program that aims at equipping young girls with digital marketing skills and the use of WordPress over a 6 weeks period.
This is a very innovative and female empowering program which seeks to encourage the engagement and broaden the knowledge of young girls concerning the technological world.
Soronko Academy is the first coding and human-centered design school in West Africa where students are taught technical and soft skills such as coding, entrepreneurship, presentation skills and more.
So far, Soronko Academy has various initiatives for girls and women such as Tech Needs Girls, Women in Digital Skills, and Code Academy for the Deaf.
The University of Ghana Global Monitoring for Environment and Security and Africa Project (UG-GMES) at the College of Basic and Applied Sciences also launched the Women in Tech Campaign to close the gender gap in technology.
This campaign was launched at the Mfantsiman Girls’ Senior High School to provide mentorship and an enabling environment for Women in Technology to adapt to the use of modern information technology.
The Girls-in-ICT is an initiative of the International telecommunications Union (ITU), aimed at introducing young girls to basic ICT skill. This program aims at featuring women in the ICT Industry. Ministry of Communications and Digitalization introduced a new initiative known as the Girls-in-ICT for Ladies.
This initiative has been adopted by the Ghana Code Club which seeks to ensure inclusion of gender issues in all activities and promote the capacity building of women and young children.
Living in a nation where we depend on those from other countries for technological advancement and employing them for having the technical know-how; we can seek to encourage the youth by creating awareness of such opportunities, supporting these institutions and organizations and taking away the various barriers and underestimation of females in the technological world.
Considering the future
Women’s empowerment in Ghana is becoming increasingly important as the fight to abolish poverty continues. Many federal, international, and commercial groups are attempting to raise awareness, provide equal access to resources, and support women who are breaking free from their traditional roles.
Although these awarenesses are considerably vocal, yet Africa on a long path toward women’s empowerment requires even more promising programs that promote women in business and technology.