Despite the rapid growth in the world of digital technology, women in the third world countries are yet to be swept by the technology wave. Statistics show that in Africa few women have access to mobile phones and the internet compared to men. This is disheartening considering a mobile phone is the simplest and most affordable technological device one can own. Kenya is no different from the other third world countries. Despite making great efforts in achieving gender equality, there are still much that needs to be done and especially when it comes to technology.
In Kenya, women within and around urban areas own mobile phones and can comfortably use them. This is however not the case when it comes to the interior most parts of the country. There are still some communities that have been left behind in almost every aspect of economic growth including education and technological. The first step in reaching out to these communities in addition to building schools, is installing telecommunication signal boosters. This will help women from these communities get connected to the rest of the world and help advance the voice of women as they will have access to information on current world affairs.
Sometimes physical access to the interior parts of the country is hard to achieve considering poor roads making it hard to educate women in such areas. This however could be made possible and easy through digitalization of learning systems. Women can study online even where there are no physically available schools and maybe even get online jobs to help contribute to the economic growth of their families, community and country.
It is a great deal that Kenya has embraced technology and all the good changes it brings such as transparency, rapid economic growth and democracy among others. The country’s desire to achieve the gender equality can easily be realized if more women like men were involved in the digital technology. The number of women working in the information and communication technology sector is wanting yet there is a lot that can be realized if this number was increased.
A few targeted technology hubs have been set up in Nairobi including Akirachix and WECREATE Kenya which focus on women in Technology and entrepreneurship, however we can all agree that this needs to improve and especially to other parts of the country.
Bridging the gender gap in technology in Kenya however is not without challenges. For instance many people have the mentality that technology is a male thing. Despite this being a lie, it has seen very few women working in the ICT related sector. Another big challenge is lack of enough mentors which is unfortunate since there are many women involved in technological innovations but are barely recognized. If Kenya can overlook these setbacks and encourage women to invest in technology, the gender gap will be reduced for the benefit of the nation.