Rwanda has set a five-year deadline to close the digital gender divide. The move has been described as a gender revolution.
First Lady, Mrs. Jeannette Kagame said on Tuesday that the country has a plan to “address the digital gender divide and do so in the shortest time possible.”
She was addressing a panel on ‘Digital Inclusion for Women’s empowerment’ during the 2nd edition of Transform Africa Summit taking place in the capital Kigali.
Mrs. Kagame called on countries across the world to significantly consider digital women inclusion by implementing the recently signed sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
While focusing on girls not to be left out in the field of science and technology, Mrs. Kagame urged them “to be bold, curious and never doubt your ability to change things for the better.”
Imbuto Foundation founded by Rwanda’s First Lady promotes girls’ education and has since 2001 supported over 4000 young girls and boys to access education.
However, she still wondered; “Why are female scientists and technologists still seen as an exception?”
Rwanda is seen among the few countries on the continent for pushing to cut down gender digital divide.
For instance, more than 100 girls in science have recently graduated from Gashora Girls’ Academy in Eastern part of the country.
The country also organized a holiday camp on science and technology course 120 girls from nine countries including; Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa, USA and Rwanda.
The initiative, the first of its kind in Rwanda, was funded by Microsoft under the ‘Let Girls Learn project, an initiative of the US First Lady Michel Obama and the US Department of State.
Ingrid Brudvig, from World Wide Web foundation- an international organisation that advocates for gender and women rights, said that 62% of women value the web as a space for commenting on important issue, while 25% less likely than men to look for a job online.
Mrs. Kagame, who also doubles as the patron of ‘New Faces New Voices’ Rwanda chapter- a global women empowerment organisation run by the former first lady of South Africa and Mozambique, Mrs. Graca Machel, has set a target to raise $20 million to support women to access finance.