Liberia: 45 Young Women recently graduated following a six (6) month intensive Information Computer Technology (ICT) and entrepreneur training program in Liberia. The Training which was a tailored project of a local organization called Liberia GIRLS Tech Club aimed at closing the gaps in the information and communication technology sectors in Liberia.
The pace of women becoming frequent users of digital technologies would contribute to gender equality, goal 5 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Girls Tech Club Executive Director Kate Hunder indicated that women are at risk of losing out on tomorrow’s best ICT job opportunities, whether in the public or private sectors, or as an employee or entrepreneur, if they are not equally prepared.
Equally to Kate’s assertion, young women have increased their presence and role to In tertiary institutions that offer courses and or degrees in the sciences, particularly technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Kate narrated that the current and emerging technology is fundamentally altering the job market, the type of jobs that will exist in the future and the skills that will be required for those jobs. “Women already has low participation in STEM professions, where the new jobs are expected to be created, put them at risk to lose out even further.
She wants the challenges of huge enrollment of girls in stem professions tackle through policy tools and focused programs that would shift priorities and investments and to change the stereotypes and perceptions of women and girls in STEM fields that begin in early childhood.
However, beneficiaries of the program expressed optimism that additional knowledge acquired would help change the narrative for girls in Stem. For Success Rue, a student of BlueCrest University, the training was an added advantage. “This training has propelled me to stand strong in the ICT space and put me at the position to effectively compete with my male counterparts”, Ms. Rue noted.
Also, Halematu Jawara, a student of the G. W. Gibson High school noted that the engagement was an eye opening experience that will nurture her career in ICT upon graduation from High school. Halematu professes that her career in ICT could ignite innovation in her that would lead to the creation of jobs for young people in Liberia.
The group of beneficiaries lauded Girls Tech Club for the initiative and urged for greater and more training.