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International Day of the Girl Child: AGYW in Bamenda Tackle Gender Digital Divide

View of workshop participants

According to UNICEF, the coronavirus pandemic which has accelerated the use of digital platforms for learning, earning, and connecting have also increased the gender digital divide.

In this light, Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) alongside some ten heads of women-led organizations in Bamenda have had a consultation session to ponder on the key obstacles that refrain them from fully utilizing the digital space and the way forward.

Organized by Common Action for Gender and Development, COMAGEND, Cameroon at their office in Bamenda on Saturday, October 9th, 2021.

The seven-hour session was in commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child, celebrated annually on October 11.

Observed this year on the theme "Digital generation, our generation", the participants facilitated by COMAGEND's founder Sally Mboumien, discussed how poor power supply, limited access to digital gadgets, high prices set for data bundles, body shaming, and many others have limited their connectivity, information access, and tech-related opportunities.

Sally Mboumien, Founder COMAGEND

According to Ndum Charlotte, a girl's rights activist,  advocacy, education, and sensitization could be the way forward in solving the digital gender gap.

"As adolescent girls and young women in coalition with stakeholders, we can advocate for digital literacy especially for girls in the grassroots, accessibility to digital gadgets, reduction in prices of data bundles", she said.

Faced with different obstacles, Meyanwieh Queency a participant is grateful to have learned how to use these digital platforms to maximize her goals.

"With lots of challenges faced, I have learned how to access and use the digital space for change and also create opportunities for myself," Queency said.

According to COMAGEND's Programs Manager Lum Claire Evi Achem, there is a shadow pandemic going on in virtual space and the consultation was geared at mapping out solutions to the digital gender gap.

"In commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child with its theme targeting the digital space, we expect them to use the information they shared and gathered to be the change they want to see".

These girls who now know their digital realities and possible solutions needed are expected to work in synergy with other girls, heads of women-led organizations as collective efforts are required to make their generation of girls become a generation of technologists.

By Pechuqui Laurata

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