Gender equality tops discussion ahead of IWD 2023

By Oghale Mafuru

Ahead of the 2023 International Women’s Day which is held on March 8th every year, female executives have stressed the need for increased policy formation and execution across all spheres of the society to enhance gender equality in the workplace especially in technologically driven sectors of the economy in the interest of national development.

Emphasizing the need to bridge the gender gap which has over the years stifled the inherent potentials of the girl child, Brenda Nwagwu, Principal Communications Consultant/CEO, QVT Media stated that it is a collective responsibility of government and members of the society to eliminate practices and beliefs that support cultural inclinations which encourages gender biases particularly with respect to career orientations.

Commenting on the dearth of females in Science, Technical, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) careers, the corporate amazon affirmed that the modern family system has not fully embraced gender parity in the nurturing of the girl child.

She said: “It probably stems from our culture and the attention that is generally placed on the boy child which has negatively impacted the imbalance of education in general between the genders and STEM in particular which is considered superior to the Arts traditionally. This also is changing but there are still pockets of issues like work, pay discrimination, early marriage and poverty that still hamper the growth of girls and women in STEM”.

According to her, the government should take deliberate steps to deepen its commitment to the development of women and girls through effective policy frameworks and execution.

“We need to start from the basics. That is the basis of free primary education which needs to be fully implemented by the government across all the states in the federation. There needs to be enforcement of penalties for defaulters. It should be combined with incentives for compliance. Most importantly, teachers need to be properly trained and be on the course of continuous education as well to be properly compensated. In workplaces, policies need to comply with gender equality principles in both public and private enterprises to reflect global best practices.

“As individuals, role models and parents, we also need to play our parts in encouraging young girls to explore the opportunities in STEM and ultimately create more opportunities for our people to learn and develop solutions for our local challenges. We also need to enforce and respect the rule of law which will play a huge role in eliminating gender discrimination” she added.

Stem is an educational acronym of a group of four core science subjects made up of Science, technology, engineering and Math. They primarily focus on the development of problem solving and critical thinking skills driven by innovation. Nigeria has historically had STEM education in the school curriculum.

This is evident in the way our parents from time have encouraged us to read those core science subjects and go into those careers because that has been handed as the best way to go for a developing nation

On her part, Excellence Anurika Joshua, Marketing and Engagement Analyst pointed out that with the rapid adoption and penetration of technology in the world many organizations are requiring digital capabilities to create novel and innovative solutions.

She added that it is now fundamental for women to improve their skills to maintain relevance in the corporate environment, especially digitally inclined areas.

“You see, there is a significant knowledge gap on the digital realities of girls and women in today’s generation. As the digitization of economies expands, economic and social growth will increasingly depend upon people’s ability to use technology. While some jobs require very advanced digital skills, most jobs and daily activities need basic digital literacy to engage with the digital economy.

“Despite the completion of secondary school education, without increased digital adoption and use, girls will have fewer access to opportunities and will face an additional barrier to workforce participation” she added.

The theme for the International Women’s Day, 8 March 2023 (IWD 2023) is, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”. This theme is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW-67), “Innovation and technological change, and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”.


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