The University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA) has observed International Women’s Day with a virtual conference under the theme “DigitALL: Promoting Women’s Development through Innovation and Technology.”
Participants made a clarion call on duty bearers to take appropriate steps and implement policies that will help to bridge the gender digital divide.
They also urged the government, activists, and stakeholders to “power on” in their efforts to make the digital world safer, more inclusive, and more equal.
International Women’s Day (IWD), which is observed globally on March 8 every year, celebrates the outstanding contributions of women around the world while also recognizing the work that still needs to be done to achieve gender equality.
President of the Women Association of UPSA (WAUPSA), Dr Helen Arkorful, said it is encouraging to see many women competing with men in technology and other professional spheres.
This she attributed to a conscious effort by stakeholders to advocate for women’s participation and empowerment at all levels.
“The era of technology being the preserve of men is undergoing a transition as we witness more women in the IT space,” Dr Arkorful said.
“It is, therefore, imperative that modalities are put in place at all levels and in our context, which is that of the University, to ensure that the gender digital divide is bridged.
“This, when achieved, we hope will see more women participating in the digital space, and it will promote women’s development in innovation and technology.”
The Registrar of UPSA, Dr Koryoe Anim-Wright, who delivered the keynote address, outlined some of the women-led initiatives the University has instituted to foster gender equity.
“By taking these actions, we can make the digital world more inclusive and equitable for women,” Dr Anim-Wright said.
Vice President of the Internet Society of Ghana and IT Lecturer at UPSA, Maud Ashong Elliot, encouraged women to develop new skills in order to stay relevant and be better equipped for the future as the world undergoes a rapid digital transformation.
For her part, media practitioner Nana Yaa Serwaa Sarpong said the media plays a critical role in creating and promoting a more inclusive and equitable digital world for women.
She stressed that bridging the digital disparity between men and women in terms of access to and use of digital technologies requires a multi-faceted approach that addresses access, digital literacy, cultural barriers, gender diversity, online safety, and support for women-led initiatives.
The 2023 International Women’s Day celebrations at UPSA were organised by the Communication Studies Students Association (ComSSA-UPSA) in collaboration with the Women’s Association of UPSA (WAUPSA), the UPSA Gender Unit, and the Internet Society of Ghana.
The webinar was attended by more than 60 participants, including staff, faculty, and students of the University.