The Leader of Opposition in Parliament, Mathias Mpuuga has said online based violence including publication of nude pictures, bullying and other forms of harassment has forced many women to abandon the internet.
Mpuuga made the remarks as Uganda joined the global community to commemorate the International Women’s Day under the theme, “Digit All: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.
Mpuuga said innovations and technology for gender equality attests to the fact that the gender digital divide is wide, with many women and girls being left behind due to digital illiteracy, expensive data and online based violence.
Despite available laws and policies advocating for gender equality, Mpuuga said there is no particular one that addresses the gender digital divide.
“This therefore calls for all stakeholders to better understand the barriers to women’s access to innovation and technology in order to develop tools and interventions that bridge the gap. As a generation, we need to take advantage of the digital transformation happening around us to push for technological gender equality,” he said.
Mpuuga said technologies must address the primitive prejudices against women and therefore education for women must exponentially expand and the reliable platform and spaces for this are schools.
According to the Mpuuga, there is an exponential leap in knowledge and the government must empower women to acquire affordable devices to enhance inclusion and participation of women from all walks of life and establish infrastructure to achieve this.
“Women financial independence must be a reality and the African mentality must be abandoned as the world has long moved away from such prejudices,” he said.
Mpuuga believes that women can bring a fresh approach and offer unique perspectives to meet challenges, solve problems, and design new products.
“They can also support fellow women into the tech fold, and since technology often offers high salary opportunities, their presence in the industry can help reduce the overall gender pay gap,” he noted.