International Women’s Day: FIDA laments gender imbalance at workplace

From: Ishola Michael, Bauchi

International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) has acknowledged that women have always faced unique challenges in the workplace particularly because the traditional office setup has often failed to accommodate the needs of women, especially mothers.

FIDA also observed that the operation of digital technology has greatly shown the inequalities that exist between genders because of the comparatively small number of women that can effectively handle and operate in such spaces.

The assertion is contained in a statement by Bauchi State chapter of the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) signed by its Chairperson, Fatima Abubakar to mark the 2023 International Women’s Day with theme: DigitALL: “Innovation and technology for gender equality”

FIDA stated that Digital technology has therefore created new opportunities for women to work remotely, giving them more flexibility to manage their personal and professional lives.

It stated, “This proved particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic, where many women were forced to work from home. We celebrate women who stepped up, learnt and embraced the technological advances and changes.”

According to FIDA, “As we commemorate International Women’s Day 2023, it is important to reflect on this year’s theme focusing on the key role innovation and technology plays in promoting gender equality.”

FIDA Nigeria also acknowledged digital technology as one of the greatest innovations of the time stating that “In our modern world today, digital literacy is an essential skill especially as most of our everyday activities in communities often revolves around the use of digital technology. As such digital technology has transformed the way we work, communicate, transact, learn, and even handle financial transactions.”

FIDA recognized that; Digital Technology has also opened new avenues for education and learning. Women who may not have had access to traditional educational systems can now access online courses and resources from anywhere in the world.

FIDA, therefore, encouraged the use of key strategies to attract more women and girls to STEM in Nigeria, such as:
Encouraging women in STEM to engage in international and national collaborative scientific research, particularly engaging with more advanced countries for better exposure and experience

“Involving female scientists in Nigeria in the development of STEM policies.
Encouraging young girls to develop an interest in STEM and empowering women across board through ICT.
Exploring online engagement to strengthen participation and awareness of use of technology.

“Sponsoring women to participate in STEM workshops, conferences, seminars and exhibitions.

“We especially celebrate Nigerian female digital tech champions who have accomplished giant strides in this sector despite known challenges. They stand today as great inspirations and worthy mentors to the girl child,” it stated.

FIDA Nigeria encouraged gender inclusive Innovation, called for collective efforts from all – the government, civil society organizations, FBOs, International institutions, and their agencies to help the plight of the Nigerian girls and women by increasing their digital skills to help bridge the inequality and digital gender gap.

It concluded stating that, “digital technology has the potential to be a powerful tool for promoting gender equality. However, to fully realize this potential, we must work together to address the unique challenges faced by women in the digital age and space. By promoting gender equality in the digital sphere, we can help create a more inclusive and equitable world for all.”

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