Notable women in the technology space have urged that women take advantage of the growing gig economy which provides a platform where everybody can work equally.
This was stated during the panel discussion at the Closing Ceremony of the DigiGirls first Cohort organized by CyberSafe Foundation and sponsored by the UK Government Digital Access Programme with a view to train, mentor and give internship opportunities for young girls to drive positive livelihood opportunities.
The event saw the presence of women and across digital space in Nigeria shared their views on how women can achieve their desired goals notwithstanding bottlenecks in the society and around the workplace.
What they are saying
Adaora Ikenze, Head of Public Policy (Anglophone West Africa), Meta noted that the fundamental challenge that women face across the world is around glass ceiling, the lack of opportunities, lack of access to education and finance.
According to her, despite these challenges, women have always managed to circumvent these challenges by indulging in gig work, be it non-formal or office-based service. She also added that access to digital economy and digital tools will further help to recognize what women have been doing behind the scene.
She said, “One of the things we found through research at Meta is that our platforms and our tools have been particularly instrumental by allowing women to scale – we see the amounts of women that use WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook for their daily businesses.”
Ifeoma Olisa-Nwokedi also urged that women begin to break bias by going for what they want and achieving the unthinkable rather than accepting defeat adding that the gig economy should be utilized as it gives everyone the opportunity to do jobs irrespective of who they are and where ever they are.
She said, “As a woman, first of all, identify what you want; who you want to be, what you want to achieve and do not let anything be a stumbling block. There is someone somewhere out there who is waiting for you to emerge and pick you up so do not let anything hold you down”
Meanwhile, in her opening speech, Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner to Nigeria pointed out that the UK joins the world to break bias around challenges on discrimination and gender inequality, such as the digital gender divide in Nigeria and many places around the world is being.
According to the commissioner, COVID-19 has led to the reversal of hard-fought progress with women being the hardest hit economically. She said, “We are witnessing a global surge in gender-based violence; and millions of girls estimated to be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation. Millions of adolescent girls may never return to school.
“Women and girls are also disproportionately impacted by climate change, natural disasters and conflict because they exacerbate existing inequality and barriers in accessing services and support. Yet women are critical front-line responders when crisis hits, and are crucial voices in decision-making processes – if given the space to be heard.
“This International Women’s Day we celebrate the UK’s work to champion gender equality and our heightened ambition to make more progress than ever. That’s why we are here today for the graduation of the first cohort of the Digi-Girls in Nigeria, a project funded through the UK Government’s Digital Access Programme.
Confidence Staveley, Founder, CyberSafe Foundation noted that participants have been equipped with digital skills for employability across the country.She said, “These employable digital skills will drive positive livelihood outcomes for themselves and their families, improve employment prospects, encourage digital entrepreneurship in women and girls, and generally provide marginalized females in underserved communities with the skills needed to develop successful careers in today’s digital economy.”