On the 22 nd of APRIL 2021, Gender Tech initiative-Uganda with support from the Digital Human Rights Lab commemorated the Girls in ICT Day event which was held at the innovation village in Gulu district.
This day is celebrated yearly to highlight the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in the world’s fastest growing sector.
The event was opened by Bernard Loum the program director of CEED-Uganda, an organisation that empowers young people to become positive change agents in their communities.
In his opening speech he said Technology is here to stay because its evolving each and every day, and the Girls in ICT Day is a reminder that we need to find ways to equip girls and young women with the skills they need to become ICT professionals. He encouraged the girls to pass-by CEED offices during holidays as they have an online ICT mentorship program with the students of Concordia which the girls can benefit from.
During this event, we invited 20 young school girls from primary and secondary level. We choose this group because we believe they are still young and undecided on what career options to pursue, and it would be very easy for us to
mentor and encourage them into considering a career in ICT.
The girls were very grateful to be part of such an event because most of them had not been in such an environment.
Adyero, a p6 student of holy rosary school says she loves science as a subject but always felt nervous when asked to turn on the power button of a computer because she thought it was a boy’s job to do. “I am now going to take over our computer lab, because what a boy can do, a girl can do better” Adyero says passionately.
We also had 2 role women model who have excelled in the Tech world. Ms. Immaculate is a Lecturer at the department of Computer science at Gulu University and she encouraged the girls to “Go for it”.
“Always have a go-getter attitude, get up, dust yourself and got for it, because this century and industry is not for the faint hearted” Immaculate says. Among other talking points, she also urged the girls to concentrate of Science
subjects because they do pay well and few women are in these fields.
Ms. Stella Aloyo is the system administrator at Bero Logistics, she said the technology sector is one of the fastest growing industries globally, but
experiencing gender skills gap because there are few women in this field.
She also noted that ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in just about any other field they might choose to pursue so there is no way anyone will avoid ICT in their work and encouraged them to pursue ICT.
She also thanked Gender Tech Initiative-Uganda for their commitment, enthusiasm and determination to make a difference for girls and thanked all the girls for pledging to take on a career in ICT.
She pledged to work together with Gender Tech Initiative-Uganda to build awareness about the gender digital divide, support technology education and skills training, and encourage more girls and young women to actively pursue careers in STEM.
Phillip Ayizika, the program manager at pollicy who was also at the event encouraged the girls to stay in school and embrace technology as it has very many opportunities that they can exploit.
The event went well with most of the participants urging Gender Tech Initiative to have these events often or visit their schools and speak to other students about Technology.
Since this is an annual event, the Gender Tech Initiative-Uganda suggested to start ICT clubs in the schools that don’t have any or revamping the already existing one.
Ms. Ruth Atim the Executive Director Gender Tech Initiative-Uganda appreciated the participants for coming and thanked the Digital Human Rights Lab for making the event possible, adding that working towards bridging the gender digital divide is important work, much as the digital inclusion community remains to be resilient and ambitious in its efforts to empower girls