A non-governmental organisation, Women Liberation and Transformation Group (W-LIT), on Wednesday, called on women to embrace innovation and technology to enhance gender equality.
The Executive Director of W-LIT, Mrs Olanike Mic-Taiwo, made the call at a meeting of market women at Bariga/Shomolu, Lagos, to celebrate the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD).
The meeting was sub-granted by Women Advocate Research and Documentation Center (WARDC), was funded by Ford Foundation.
IWD is celebrated on March 8 annually to raise awareness on women issues.
The 2023 IWD had the theme: “Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality”.
Mic-Taiwo said that the theme was apt considering the Nigeria’s transition to a cashless society where technology was playing a vital role.
She urged governments to provide information and communication technology hubs in markets and rural communities so that women and girls could be trained to be digitally inclined and leverage social media platforms to grow their businesses.
She called on governments to bridge the digital gap especially in rural communities, saying that women and girls were lagging behind in the digital space.
She said that technology was essential in advancing gender equality.
“If women and girls can access and use technology safely, they can amplify their voices.
“Women should take advantage of opportunities in the digital space to improve their businesses and end violence against them.
“Quite a number of market women are not digitally inclined and it has really affected their businesses especially with the cashless policy in Nigeria.
“Some of them are already experiencing various challenges at home and in their businesses,” she said.
Mic-Taiwo advised market women to be digitally inclined to attain greater heights.
She also encouraged women to be active and contribute their quotas to societal development through innovations and technology.
“They should know that the cashless policy is the new normal and a reality.
“The era of carrying huge cash about is phasing out; therefore, market women have to embrace technology to be relevant in their businesses,” she said.
Mic-Taiwo advised market leaders to have a database of market men and women, indicating their businesses.
She said: “By so doing, when opportunities arise from the state government, they can be easily accessible.
“Also, it helps to monitor activities of their members, they can be easily identified. It will also help to curb violence.”
The Iyaloja-General (Market Leader) of Somolu, Mrs Modupeola Olufojude, urged governments to sensitise market leaders about technology and innovations.
According to her, this is the time for market men and women to embrace best global practices.
“They should know how to leverage technology and socal media space to boost businesses,” she said.