Aida Opoku-Mensah Empowerment of Women
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  • Progresses in MDGs in Africa assessed in 2010 by ECA, AUC, AfDB and UNDP shows: In primary and secondary education, the West African countries of The Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania, and Senegal made the greatest progress in achieving gender parity. In tertiary education, although data are scant, North Africa continues to lead the continent, as Tunisia and Algeria have significantly surpassed gender parity, to the extent that they now have more women than men enrolled in universities and colleges.
  • As was the case in last year’s report, Rwanda proved to be the best performer on this indicator in 2009, with 56.3 percent of its parliamentary seats held by women, followed by South Africa (45.0 percent), Angola (37.3 percent), Mozambique (34.8percent), and Uganda (30.7 percent). The remaining 26 countries that show improvements within this time period have less than 30 percent of seats held by women in national parliaments. Seventeen countries registered female participation below 10 percent in 2009. While overall trends for Africa on this indicator are positive.
  • In the formal economy, women are predominantly employed in the agricultural sector in Africa – especially in West Africa, Central Africa and Eastern and Southern Africa where it is estimated that they account for 60-80 per cent of the agricultural labour force – and are responsible for 70-80 per cent of the food production. Women make up 20% of the labour force in non-agricultural employment in North Africa, and 37% in sub-Saharan Africa. (UN:2007) In both North and SSA, women are underrepresented in many occupations, especially in the scientific and technological fields. Employment in the industrial sector remains generally less than 5 per cent for the majority of countries, with the percentage of women in the services sector falling between industry and agriculture. In all sectors, women are severely underrepresented in management and decision- making positions. They tend to advance more slowly than their male counterparts in their careers both in terms of assigned responsibilities and in terms of wage increases and are therefore at greater risk than men from poverty and disempowerment. [ECA:2001b; UNDP:2005; UN:2007]
  • Many African countries fail to report on gender parity at the tertiary level, with only nine countries providing data for both 1991 and 2007 (Burkina Faso, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Tanzania, and Tunisia). Data for these nine countries (see figure above) show that all of them have reduced gender disparity, with Tunisia (0.85) the best performer, followed by Morocco (0.31) and Tanzania (0.29). In 2007, Cape Verde, Algeria, and Tunisia surpassed parity and recorded indices of 1.21, 1.4, and 1.51 respectively. This means that in those countries, women are much more likely than men to access tertiary level education. With the majority of African countries recording a gender parity index below 0.90 in 2007, and many still struggling to reach a gender parity index of 0.50, it is highly unlikely that African countries will reach this tertiary level target by 2015 if current trends continue.
  • Information empowerment Information Literacy - information literacy, which is the ability to find and use information, is crucial because it involves increased confidence at a personal level. This enhanced confidence can lead to actions by women to influence larger political and legal systems. ICTs also facilitate the establishment of alternative media organizations and NGOs covering issues that are not given adequate attention by the mainstream media and to reach out to large sections of the population that were previously not served by the mainstream media. The Internet has brought women’s news and views into the public domain, with countless websites targeted specifically, if not exclusively, at women. Economic empowerment ICT can provide new opportunities for women’s economic empowerment by creating business and employment opportunities for women as owners and managers of ICT-accessed projects, as well as employees of new business ventures. Networking ICTs can contribute to increasing women’s networking for social and political advocacy, strengthening women’s participation in the political process, supporting the work of elected women officials, and increasing women’s access to government and its services. ICTs can thus effectively empower women through building new channels for social awareness, mobilizing resources for women, and networking women around matters that concern their lives
  • A survey of women’s access to ICTs in western Africa found that in some cases, men were threatened by their wives’ use of internet and cell phones – monitoring and in some cases prohibiting their use (Regentic:2005). In several regions, however, trends of mobile phone usage and ownership in particular appear to indicate a positive move towards gender parity and in some countries, imbalance in favour of females (see table above). Source: ECA’s Handbook on Gender, ICT Policy and e-Government in Africa.
  • A survey of women’s access to ICTs in western Africa found that in some cases, men were threatened by their wives’ use of internet and cell phones – monitoring and in some cases prohibiting their use (Regentic:2005). In several regions, however, trends of mobile phone usage and ownership in particular appear to indicate a positive move towards gender parity and in some countries, imbalance in favour of females (see table above). Source: ECA’s Handbook on Gender, ICT Policy and e-Government in Africa.
  • National e-government and ICT policies which understand the gendered conditions of both access and use of ICTs will have the potential to fully mobilise the contributions that women can make to national development when empowered by useful and appropriate information and esupport strategies.
  • ECA has also supported Togo and Chad in mainstreaming gender in their ICTs policy which is still in progress.
  • There are three main areas in which e-government can have real effects improving women's lives and incomes: Promoting government-citizen interaction and participation Information services in critical sectors Support to women's livelihoods.
  • To creatively involve farmers in research on Climate Change Adaptations measures, Ugunja Community Resource Centre (UCRC) (one of the ECA’s KN knowledge hubs) uses ICT to tap the farmers’ indigenous knowledge on climate change. They have identified a group of farmers that have been trained on use of digital cameras, video camera, sound recorders and writing skills. This group of farmers therefore uses the same equipments borrowed from UCRC to document their own innovations in their own language. UCRC staff assists the farmers in editing and cleaning the information received. The documented information is shared by the farmers in their meeting forums and UCRC is exploring on how to make this information available to other farmers through various media outlet. The project has been running for six months and an inventory of innovations has been developed through the aid of farmers. The technologies documented are quite promising and more focus needs to be given to such innovations as they trusted and are continuously practiced by farmers.
  • Founded in Ghana as a TradeNet in 2005 focused on agricultural marketing providing current market data via SMS and the web e-Soko is now active in 15 countries through different partnership agreements – both public sector agricultural projects and E-Soko country franchises – Ghana, Nigeria, Mozambique, Burundi, Zambia, Mali, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, Rwanda, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Malawi, Tanzania and Uganda
  • Comfort Quarshie, Yam wholesaler and GAPTO member, Ghana, says: “ TradeNet liberates us from dictates of the ‘queen mothers’—spokespersons for women in West African markets,” “Queen mothers regulate the availability of commodities, and decide which trader groups go to the hinterlands each week to buy what, to sell where, and at what price. The queen mothers often hold the information and power. But now we use our mobile phones to get the information we need on prices and products—and make our own decisions.”

Aida Opoku-Mensah Empowerment of Women Aida Opoku-Mensah Empowerment of Women Presentation Transcript

  • Engaging African Women & Girls in Technology Web Gathering 12 December 2012 Empowering African women for the future through ICT Aida Opoku-Mensah Director ICT, Science and Technology Division United Nations Economic Commission for AfricaICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Contents  Context  Gender / Performance in MDGs  Women in Decision Making & Economic Fields  ICTs & Women’s Empowerment  ECA’s Mandate and Activities in Gender and ICTs  ConclusionsICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Context Women constitute Women constitute over 50 per cent of over 50 per cent of the population the population Gender inequalities Gender inequalities in income in income and asset and asset Do 60 per cent Do 60 per cent of the work of the work distribution of distribution of remunerated remunerated & unremunerated & unremunerated work work Earn 1/10 of the income Earn 1/10 of the income lack of recognition lack of recognition of women contributions of women contributions In household In household and care economies and care economies Own 1/100 Own 1/100 of the assets of the assets Are some of the causes of Marginalisation of Women Are some of the causes of Marginalisation of WomenICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Where are we on MDGs African continent well positioned African continent well positioned to meet universal primary education, gender equality and empowerment goals; to meet universal primary education, gender equality and empowerment goals; Gender parity in primary education likely to be achieved by most countries; Gender parity in primary education likely to be achieved by most countries; Parity decreases in secondary education, Parity decreases in secondary education, & gap is widest in tertiary education;; & gap is widest in tertiary education;; In primary and secondary education, The Gambia, In primary and secondary education, The Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania, and Senegal made the greatest progress in achieving gender parity. . Guinea, Mauritania, and Senegal made the greatest progress in achieving gender parity In tertiary education, North Africa continues to lead the continent. In tertiary education, North Africa continues to lead the continent.ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Women in decision-making Increased proportion of women in decision making ( increased number of women parliamentarians & at senior positions )ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Under-representation of women in most economic fields In the formal economy, women are predominantly In the formal economy, women are predominantly employed in the agricultural sector –– employed in the agricultural sector especially in West, Central and Eastern especially in West, Central and Eastern and Southern Africa and Southern Africa 60-80 % 60-80 % of the agricultural of the agricultural labour force labour force 70-80 % 70-80 % of the food production of the food production 20% of the labour 20% of the labour force in non-agricultural force in non-agricultural employment in North Africa & employment in North Africa & 37% in sub-Saharan Africa 37% in sub-Saharan AfricaICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Gender disparity in secondary and tertiary education  Gender disparity in tertiary education have shown a slowly decreasing trend, however, it is highly unlikely that African countries will reach the gender parity for tertiary level target by 2015 Gender parity index in tertiary education, in selected African countries for selected African countries, 1991 and 2008ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • ICTs & women’s empowerment  ICTs can reduce discrimination and empower women for all type of activities  Information, education, ability to communicate and to enroll in decision- making processes are the basic pillars of empowerment  Empowered women would be one of the most effective drivers of development  As clearly stated in the Beijing Declaration  “ICT is a powerful tool that women could use for mobilization, information exchange and empowerment."ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Gender Barriers to Accessing and Using ICTs Lack of time and infrastructure Lack of time and infrastructure Social norms Social norms Cultural constraints Cultural constraints Education and employment Education and employmentICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • How are ICTs empowering women? Information and Information and Economic // Economic knowledge is knowledge is Governance Governance power power Empowerment Empowerment Networking NetworkingICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Is there a Digital Gender Divide?  ICTs access and usage shows gender imbalance as shown in the example from Benin and Ghana Percent female Internet users in Ghana Percent female Internet users in Benin 40 12 35 10 30 25 8 Percent female Internet Percent female Internet 20 6 users users 15 4 10 5 2 0 0 2005 2006 2007 2008 2004 2005 2006 2007ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Mobile phone ownership, selected African countries Country Female Male Botswana (2005) 55.8% 44.2% Cameroon Urban 49% 52% areas 39% 61 Rural areas Ethiopia (of 1793 0.2% of women 0.4% of men households surveyed) (2005) South Africa (2007) 46% 54% Tanzania (2005) 48.40% 50.50%ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Findings: recent ECA-FOSSFA quick survey on women and ICT Priority areas that need to be considered to promote women software developers: • Mentorship - this came out in almost all of the replies • Funding • Market share, contracts, paying jobs • Meeting with software legends • Establishing a professional Association • Media coverage of womens efforts • Segregated (women only) training and coding rooms • Business skills and culture • Management skills • Professional certification • Up-to-date information on cutting edge technology and how to benefit from it • Hands-on practical workshops • Personality lessons: self esteem, confidence etc • Communication and Public speaking capacity building • Marketing and public relations capacity buildingICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • ECA’s role in gender and ICTs AISI AISI Guided by the African Information Society Initiative launched in 1996, Guided by the African Information Society Initiative launched in 1996, with the aim of supporting and accelerating socio-economic development with the aim of supporting and accelerating socio-economic development across the region through the use of ICT s,E CAand partners supported s, CA across the region through the use of ICT E and partners supported countries in Africa with the formulation of national ICT policies, commonly countries in Africa with the formulation of national ICT policies, commonly known as NICIs known as NICIs A number of countries mainstreamed gender in their national ICT policies A number of countries mainstreamed gender in their national ICT policies NICI Strategies NICI Strategies Over 43 countries have adopted their NICIs by end of 2010 and a further six Over 43 countries have adopted their NICIs by end of 2010 and a further six countries in the process of developing one countries in the process of developing one In the last over five years, many countries have moved from policy formulation In the last over five years, many countries have moved from policy formulation to implementation by putting in place sectoral strategies in key priority sectors to implementation by putting in place sectoral strategies in key priority sectors such as e-government, education, health, etc. such as e-government, education, health, etc.ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Gender mainstreaming in selected NICI Policies in Africa Mainstreaming statement Ghana Ghana Put in place a mechanism to ensure the participation of women Put in place a mechanism to ensure the participation of women in developing the information society and to ensure that in developing the information society and to ensure that ICT policies at all levels are engendered, ICT policies at all levels are engendered, and geared toward meeting specific developmental needs of women and geared toward meeting specific developmental needs of women Zambia Zambia Promote the use of ICTs as tools to eliminate Promote the use of ICTs as tools to eliminate all forms of inequalities between sexes all forms of inequalities between sexes Pillar Cameroon Cameroon Gender and Social Development Gender and Social DevelopmentICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Gender mainstreaming in selected NICI Policies in Africa…contd Vision Objectives Gambia Gambia Cameroon To make ICT access affordable to all Gambian women Cameroon To make ICT access affordable to all Gambian women The information society should be The information society should be garanteed and anchored on the realities of the garanteed and anchored on the realities of the Ghana day. ItIt ICT policies at all levels are engendered, day. ICT policies at all levels are engendered, Ghana and geared toward meeting To accelerate the dev of women and eliminate gender and geared toward meeting To accelerate the dev of women and eliminate gender specific developmental needs of women inequalities in education, employment, decision making specific developmental needs of women inequalities in education, employment, decision making through the deployment and exploitation of IVICTs by through the deployment and exploitation of IVICTs by building capacities and providing opportunities building capacities and providing opportunities for girls and women Lesotho Lesotho for girls and women Government is committed to deploying ICTs Government is committed to deploying ICTs as tools in the process of ensuring as tools in the process of ensuring Swaziland Swaziland gender equality, empowering and recognising Ensure that the benefits of ICTs are utilized in addressing gender equality, empowering and recognising Ensure that the benefits of ICTs are utilized in addressing women and youth in the development process gender (disadvantaged groups) inequalities in education, women and youth in the development process gender (disadvantaged groups) inequalities in education, employment opportunities, and decision making. ICT employment opportunities, and decision making. ICT capacity building for the girl child and women iis aa must capacity building for the girl child and women iis must Zambia Zambia There is need to address youth and women There is need to address youth and women Zambia as special groups in society that can as special groups in society that can Zambia positively contribute to the growth of ICTs To increase employment opportunities through ICTs, positively contribute to the growth of ICTs To increase employment opportunities through ICTs, as well as the use of ICTs as empowerment tools and the participation of youth and women as well as the use of ICTs as empowerment tools and the participation of youth and women in their daily activities in national development; etc. in their daily activities in national development; etc.ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • ECA support in the area of gender and ICT/STI Mainstreaming Gender in ICT/STI policies; Mainstreaming Gender in ICT/STI policies; Capacity building ( (Gambia under the leadership of VP); Capacity building Gambia under the leadership of VP); Support to women innovators Support to women innovators ICT applications for women (Mobile apps for women entrepreneurs in Mozambique); ICT applications for women (Mobile apps for women entrepreneurs in Mozambique); Improving access through tele innovation centers (Ghana, Rwanda & Knowledge networks); Improving access through tele innovation centers (Ghana, Rwanda & Knowledge networks); Gender and E-government; Gender and E-government; TIGA Awards: promoting apps such as eSoko. TIGA Awards: promoting apps such as eSoko.ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • E-government  improving women’s lives & incomes Women Government Services Supporting Information livelihoods • Registration services • Utilities payment • Market access • Access to information, • Medical services • Produce pricing e.g. for e.g. electoral process • Education farmers • Government policies • Government payments • Training for enhancing and programs esp. in rural areas in productivity absence of addressing • Money transfer accessICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • ICT increases Government Efficiency and Transparency  ECA facilitated dialogue among ICT and gender experts in Africa to analyse and evaluate the efforts put in place by African countries to include a gender dimension in e- Government policies and programmes  Produced a handbook for policy makers on gender sensitive e- government strategiesICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • ICTs at grassroots  Rural telecentre can support access to information and services relevant for households for intensifying agricultural production, adopting diversified livelihoods, facilitate migration, or in enabling a combination of these. A Community Telecentre in Ugunja, Kenya (One of ECA’s KN hub) is using ICTs to tap the farmers’ indigenous knowledge on climate changeICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • E-Soko – one of the 2011 TIGA awarded projectsICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • E-Soko’s roles on women’s empowerment It reduced influence of information brokers who have formed strong market cartels; It reduced influence of information brokers who have formed strong market cartels; The information gathered and distributed by E-soko empowers farmers/growers in the The information gathered and distributed by E-soko empowers farmers/growers in the negotiation process that shifted the power equilibrium from buyers back to the farmers ; ; negotiation process that shifted the power equilibrium from buyers back to the farmers It reduced risk of loss through spoilage of goods in the search of suitable markets; It reduced risk of loss through spoilage of goods in the search of suitable markets; Increased the incomes of traders, farmers and their dependents. Increased the incomes of traders, farmers and their dependents.ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Conclusion  Encouraging girls towards science and technology fields is critical;  African policy makers need to realise and ensure the importance of mainstreaming gender in ICTs and STI policies and strategies;  Investing on institutional and leadership capacities is key for realising gender-sensitive policies;  Critical for women, the issue of digital divide in education goes beyond the issue of access to technology. The changing needs of economic and social development require a wide range of new skills and competences, known as the 21st century competences  key enablers of responsible citizenship in a knowledge-based and technology- pervaded economyICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi
  • Yes We CAN!!! http://www.uneca.org/istd/ICTs, Science & Technology Division (ISTD), UNECA www.uneca.org/istd / www.uneca.org/aisi