A consortium involving the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Enhanced Integrated Framework (EIF) has launched a cooperative project to enhance the digital ecosystem and build digital skills for women in Ethiopia.
The project is part of the coalitions attempt to to reduce the digital gender divide in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The project will address the ongoing gender digital divide which, while narrowing in developed regions, has widened in developing nations and the LDCs since 2013.
Across Africa, the proportion of women using the Internet is 12% lower than the proportion of men; in African LDCs, the disparity broadens to a 31% gap.
Combining their resources, ITU and EIF will enhance efforts to benefit women in Burundi, Ethiopia and Haiti. This will be achieved by building capacity at the policy level, increasing governments’ ability to mainstream gender and information and communication technologies (ICTs), and by expanding the horizons of thousands of women entrepreneurs in sectors such as textiles and apparel, and the coffee and cocoa value chains.
“More than ever before, digital technology is a key driver of women’s economic opportunities,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “This partnership between ITU and EIF will result in vital policy support to ensure sustainable expansion of ICTs where it is most needed and will benefit women as they access and use ICTs to participate fully in their economies.”