Why is it vital for girls to participate in ICT here is your answer!

UNESCO Gender and Media imageIf you ever wondered why it is important for girls to take part in ICT, here’s your answer! The argument is simple, it’s not about changing the image of ICT to appeal to girls, it is a must have for girls in order for them to have a say in their self-determination.

This video from UNESCO, “Women, poverty and ICTs: mediating social change”, shows why it is so important that young women and girls be educated and take part in information technology. Far from the geek image of the past, technology is the way to reduce poverty and empower social networks. The women and girls in this video (the video is to the top right of the page), benefit from their participation in ICT courses in New Delhi in a number of different ways including increased self-esteem and an increased level of self-determination.  In most of the examples in the video, these women and girls are able to support themselves and their families financially, adding to the economic growth of India.  Amongst often horrendous barriers to them participating, these women are working together to support each other to bring about positive change.

Gender and Media

“Women’s ability to take advantage of ICT is dependent on conductive policies, an enabling environment in their countries to extend communications infrastructure to where women live, and increased educational levels.

Information and communication technology (ICT) is transforming the global economy and creating new networks that stretch over continents and cultures.” (UNESCO) see more

Given the recent reported instances of gang rape of a number of women in New Delhi, the imperative for these types of initiatives is growing and there is wide-spread calls globally for a change to a culture that perpetuates such violence against women.

Unfortunately with a rise in self-determination for women, sometimes comes increased violence against them as some men see the traditional male patriarchy and associated structures, threatened.

“Sexual violence against women has long been a characteristic of the subcontinent (both India and Pakistan). Men have traditionally held a dominant position in society. When and where their dominance has been challenged or threatened, they have turned to harming innocent women.

At the same time, the people who are supposed to prevent such incidents from taking place (the police and state agencies) are usually controlled and run by men, creating a closed loop of dominance, violence and subjugation.” (The Big Picture, December 31, 2012)

Reuters reported that;

“New Delhi has the highest number of sex crimes among India’s major cities, with a rape reported on average every 18 hours, according to police figures. Government data show the number of reported rape cases in the country rose by nearly 17 percent between 2007 and 2011. (Reuters 29 December 2012).”

Whether the reports are acted on by police or not, there is an enormous cost to the nation in dealing with rape crime with the cost of hospitalization for victims, any resulting prison for offenders, the cost of policing and the resulting cost of losing lives through death or non productive life as a result.

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Get women back to work to prop up economy by: JESSICA IRVINE From: The Advertiser November 27, 2012 11:00PM

Get women back to work to prop up economy

 

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Women at work

Getting women back to work is good for our economy. Source: Supplied

GETTING more women back to work and further up the career ladder is key to boosting the economy, writes Jessica Irvine.

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Governor-General Quentin Bryce is one classy lady and a role model for young women everywhere. Speaking yesterday at the launch of the federal gender watchdog’s latest census of women in leadership, 69-year-old Ms Bryce, rocking in a skirt suit of the hottest pink you can imagine, shared her memory of life before the women’s movement.

It’s worth recalling here:

“I’m a girl of the ’60s,” Ms Bryce began. “A time when women in jobs were clustered in a narrow range of occupations.

“Marriage meant resignation. Pay was two thirds of men’s. No maternity leave. No childcare. No role models. No mentors. Little access to superannuation or higher education. There were separate job ads for women and girls, men and boys.

 “I was the only girl from my school to go to university. There were a handful of us in law school.

“I was shocked to see only one woman scholar on campus at University of Queensland and to learn that I would have to leave work when I was married. It’s no wonder women started to take action.”

Ms Bryce’s story shows how far we have come. But, as she points out, it is not nearly far enough.

Decades on, women remain shut out of the corridors of power. Despite some high-profile examples of women in politics and civic life, like our Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Ms Bryce, men continue to dominate the business world.

Of Australia’s upper 500 companies listed on the stock exchange, just 12 were headed by women at the time of the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace’s 2012 census. That has since dropped to 10. That’s 2 per cent of companies headed by women.

Worse still, at the key senior executive level the feeder for future CEOs two thirds of the the top 500 companies have no women.

It must be a depressing picture for the firebrands of the 1960s and 1970s. It is certainly a wake-up call for their daughters and granddaughters of how much more work we have to do.

As our firebrand Ms Bryce put it yesterday: “Why do the new generation of 20 to 30-something women who are better educated than their male colleagues continue to earn less, labour in lower status positions and struggle to juggle the demands of childcare and work?”

Because it’s not just our top executive women who are struggling. Figures for the entire economy show Australia’s female workforce participation rate, at 59 per cent of working-aged women, is lower than our international counterparts.

In New Zealand the percentage is much higher at 72 per cent. In the UK it is 69 per cent.

Boosting the status of women at work is not just a moral but an economic imperative.

In a pre-recorded message to yesterday’s lunch, the boss of ANZ, Mike Smith, made the point: “Gender diversity is not only about equity, it also makes good business sense. It’s really as simple as that.”

See the rest of the story here

REFERENCES:

http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/get-women-back-to-work-to-prop-up-economy/story-e6freon6-1226525196663?sv=bd98d9ea564311b15ae4417dc5afc056