October 10, 2012 | 1 Comment
Lagos, October 11 2012 - October 11 has been declared by the United Nations as ‘International Day of the Girl Child’. Girls face double discrimination due to their gender and age, and are the most marginalised and discriminated group across the globe. The day will promote girls’ human rights, highlight gender inequalities that remain between girls and boys and address the various forms of discrimination and abuse suffered by girls around the globe.
The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre – W.TEC stands by the United Nations in highlighting the discrimination experienced by girls. W.TEC’s Executive Director, Oreoluwa Somolu, states that, “Girls all over the world experience challenges in a plethora of areas from education to forced early marriages and health.”
Research shows that approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school.(1) In Nigeria, girls who enrol in school are more likely to drop out than their male counterparts (2). Since formal education prepares people for employment in the formal sector, women are also less likely to be employed in the private (non-agricultural) sector – in 2007 only 32.5% of women were employed in the private sector (3). However, when a woman thrives, so does her family. When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man (4). This highlights the importance of women having the skills and opportunities to work and earn an income.
Although the work of improving the well-being of girls takes place all year-round, designating October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, places a special emphasis on girls’ rights by highlighting the importance of eliminating the discrimination that girls face all over the world.
W.TEC will celebrate the 2012 International Day of the Girl Child by speaking to secondary school girls about science and technology careers. Through our programs, W.TEC seeks to equip girls with the technical and professional skills required to successfully navigate and work in this technology-driven world. Our work is driven by research that shows significant gaps in technology skills and knowledge between men and women. When girls learn to use and create technology, they position themselves for professional and economic growth.
Upcoming W.TEC programs to empower girls include the Create with a Purpose Multimedia Program (November 2012 – March 2013), W.TEC Girls Technology Camp (April 2013 and August 2013). Create with a Purpose is an innovative program, which delivers training in media production for girls, so that they can create films and digital artwork, which share their perspectives on the social issues that affect them. The W.TEC Girls Technology Camp is a residential technology education and mentoring programme aimed at helping secondary school girls develop an early interest in computers and other information technology. For the camp duration, the girls participate in technology workshops.
About W.TEC: W.TEC is a Nigerian non-governmental organization working to encourage Nigerian girls and women to use information and communication technology (ICT) to empower themselves socially and economically. This is done through technology literacy training, technology-based projects, mentoring, work placement and research. W.TEC works in partnership with local and international NGOs, educational and research organizations.
Ms. Oreoluwa Somolu (Executive Director)
Phone: +234.819.115. 0387, +234.1.850.9782
(1), (4): The Girl Effect: www.girleffect.org
(2), (3): Gender in Nigeria Report 2012: www.dfid.gov.uk/Documents/publications1/Gender-Nigeria2012.pdf
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