Queeneth Tawo, Regional Coordinator for the Women Peace Security (WPS) Programme at West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), has encouraged women to make the most of digitization to enhance their lives.
Speaking at WANEP's WPS interactive Session held in commemoration of International Women's Day, Tawo urged women to use social media to secure job opportunities and other benefits of digitization.
Tawo noted that the positive use of social media had propelled her to secure consultancy jobs over the years, and advised women to explore the vast opportunities presented by technology.
She also cautioned against relying on social media for validation. The session, themed “Achieving Gender Parity Through the Utilization of Digital Technology,” aimed to explore how digital technology could advance the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda while protecting women's rights in both conflict and peace issues.
Queeneth Tawo explained that the event was in line with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, which advocates for the integration of gender perspectives in peace and security work.
Participants were tasked with developing action-oriented recommendations on how to utilize digital technology to attain gender parity and enhance women's meaningful and inclusive participation in leadership.
At the end of the meeting, an action plan would be developed to protect women and girls in the digital space.
Vincent Azumah, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation at WANEP, revealed the organization's interest in leveraging technology for peacebuilding.
Azumah cited a study by the European Union which showed that globally, only 17% of women were in information technology (IT) and software development, with women constituting just 10% in software development.
He also noted that some individuals, including men, used technology to commit crimes against women and children. In 2022, 11 cases of kidnapping and abduction were reported to have been committed through the use of technology.
Azumah added that some applications were not gender-sensitive, thus highlighting the need to develop gender-sensitive applications.
Dr Ayo Ayoola-Amale, President of the Women International League for Peace and Freedom, also spoke at the event, stressing that women should take advantage of technology to secure good health, improve their finances, and foster personal development.
Ayoola-Amale urged women and girls not to be discouraged by cyberbullies who use negative words to attack them.