Stakeholders stress digital awareness among women

GENDER equality stakeholders have stressed the need for raising digital awareness among women so that they can effectively utilise the arising opportunities and overcome the challenges they encounter while using digital platforms.

They said that there are numerous benefits   of using digital platforms but majority of women have been left behind due to fear of being harassed.

Special Seats MP Neema Lugangira said that in the contemporary world, digital platforms are crucial in uplifting women socially, politically and economically.

“It is important for women, youth and other groups to be educated on the proper use of technologies and equipped with digital skills so that they can utilize the available opportunities,”   the MP said recently in Dar es Salaam while presenting a topic on how women can attain development through digital platforms.

The lawmaker was speaking to ordinary citizens who attended training on gender and development at the Tanzania Gender Networking Program (TGNP) offices in Dar es Salaam ahead of the commemoration of the International Women’s Day (IWD) which is marked on March 8 every year.

She said that gender violence has been one of the challenges which affect women’s participation in digital platforms.

The MP said that women MPs have been facing such digital violence as result majority of them have shun from using the platforms due to unfriendly environment.

She said some people have been using the platforms to water down the agenda introduced by women leaders by using gender instead of urging with facts.

Ms Lugangira said that the only way to counter such challenges is women to be well equipped with digital skills and how to overcome the challenges so that they can effectively benefit from the opportunities.

She said this year international theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality” is crucial because the commemorations will help to strengthen policies and various laws to ensure that women are free to use digital platforms without fear of being harassed.

TGNP Executive Director Ms Lilian Liundi said that there were numerous opportunities in digital platforms but unfortunately women have been left far behind in utilising them.

“Prompt actions are needed to educate the group so that they can see the benefits and use them which in turn will reduce gender and development gap,” she said,

Ms Liundi noted that, according to the last year’s National Population and Housing Census women are more than 50 percent of the country population thus if empowered to use social platforms majority of them will benefit from the technology.

She said despite the challenges faced by women in digital technology, they should be encouraged to use them.

Education should be provided to women so that they can be confident to use the digital platforms and understand how they can overcome the challenges they encounter.

She, however, said that in marking the day TGNP has organised a series of activities including symposium on digital opportunities in reducing gender gap, safe spaces for both men and women where Information and Communication Technology experts will share experience on digital related issues.

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