By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
Women still have lower access to the internet than men do, according to a report commissioned by Intel on the access to, and use of, the Internet in low and middle income countries. The report shows 25 percent fewer women than men are online in developing countries. Intel has emphasized its commitment to bridging this gap with its Intel She Will Connect Programme.
The Intel She Will Connect Programme has been at the forefront of educating young girls and women on maximum contributions toward economic and social development across the world. At the recent capacity building workshop on ICT for women journalists in Lagos, Nigeria, the country Managing Director of Intel West Africa, Mr. Olubunmi Ekundare, stated Intel’s dedication to bring about positive change in the African Girl Child.
Stressing the importance of educating the girl child, he said, “Here at Intel, we believe, and I’m sure we all agree, that smart girls are the equivalent of a smart world. What we seek to do, more than encouraging you all, is to do your best in school and seize the opportunity to build a world where youth are inspired to be advocates for change.
The Corporate Affairs Manager, Mr. Babatunde Akinola, explained that She Will Connect programme aims to close the gap for girls in terms of access to the internet and digital literacy. He restated that the company will provide technical resources and expertise to deliver digital literacy training, online peer networks and gender relevant content to empower young girls and women in Nigeria.
Technology and access to the internet is essential to women’s empowerment across the continent, and it is key to overcoming barriers such as poverty, illiteracy, and discrimination. She Will Connect hopes to have reached five million women and girls across Africa by 2020, empowering them to get and stay online and help others like them, thereby reducing the gender gap by 50 per cent.