The gap or inequalities present between men and women regarding access to and uses of Information and Communications Technologies is termed Gender Digital Divide. Reports suggest that about 60 percent of the female population lack access to the internet. This amount is very alarming, as we are currently in the digital era where improved technologies are affecting the way we carry out certain activities. With digital technologies being incorporated in all sectors of both the economy and man’s daily lives, be it in the aspect of education, agriculture, manufacturing, employment , where as 90% of jobs already have a digital component and the global workforce increasingly uses digital tools it is imperative that women be included in the world of technology.

This agitating issue is referred to in the 5th and 10th Sustainable Development Goals, Gender Equality Education and Reduced Inequalities. All these are reasons as to why women should have access to and be secured in the digital world, especially the most vulnerable women who are either older, less educated, poor or living in rural areas and developing countries like Nigeria. It is very necessary, as gender and Information and Communications and Technologies, ICT is a very important element in achieving sustainable development. The factors responsible for the rapid increase of the Gender Digital Gap in Nigeria and Africa at large is attributed to the inequitable access to education and harmful social norms that exist in the offline world and impact digital realities and potential benefits for women and girls; cultural and social norms are one of the most significant yet largely ignored barriers preventing women and girls access to ICT gadgets and the internet. 52% of young women globally have experienced some form of digital harm and 87% of them believe the problem is getting worse. In some cases they have even resulted in death and rape. Other causes include high costs of ICT gadgets, lack of digital know-how or digital illiteracy, scarcity of content that is relevant and empowering for women, barriers to women speaking freely and privately, geographical restrictions, low income levels, gender discrimination etc. The Gender Digital Divide has negatively impacted not only wen but also the economy. Due to their inaccessibility to digital gadgets, women are much less likely to graduate in any field of STEM compared to their male counterparts, which furthermore makes girls 5 times less likely to consider a career in tech. Effective and drastic measures have to be taken in order to address this problem and bridge the Gender Digital Divide. We can overcome this societal menace by adopting strategies such as including women in the tech sector, up skill women in digital skills, provide assistance as tech incubators and accelerators, affordable, robust broadband internet service, access to digital literacy training, quality technical support, applications and online content designed to enable and encourage self-sufficiency, participation and collaboration, correcting bias, creative economy, embedding ICT in formal education, bringing parents on board, promoting role models and mentors, will go a long way to reduce the Gender Digital Divide one step at a time. This problem should be addressed in its entirety and I believe that it can be put to an end overtime with the participation of all individuals.


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