24 May 2022, 16:02
Update : 24 May 2022, 16:03

More women's participation in technology needed to attain SDGs

DHAKA, May 24, 2022 (BSS) - The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have proposed inclusive development with a view to establishing peace and prosperity. The use of technology needs to be increased to implement the important concepts of SDGs as technology not only facilitates the flow of information and services but also expands the area of transparency and accountability.
Center for Policy Dialogue (CPD) in collaboration with the European Union conducted a study on "Gender Equality and the Role of Public Service in Women's Empowerment" under the project of 'Participation of Public Institutions in Democratic Good Governance'. In the study, emphasis has been given on gender gap or sex discrimination.
One hundred years ago, Begum Rokeya said human society is like a two-wheeled bicycle. Society moves forward with the help of those two wheels. But you can't go very far by keeping one wheel weak or at a standstill just by relying on the other wheel. This is even truer in the world of technology.
Yasmin Akhtar, 20, of Gangachara, Rangpur was born in a farming family in char area. The modern technology of digital Bangladesh didn't reach within her surroundings yet. She didn't receive any training in technology. She doesn't know anything about the uses of computer, internet etc.
The same can be said about Maryam Akhter, 22, of Saghata upazila of Gaibandha. She completed secondary school certificate, but didn't learn much about the use of technology. Like Rokeya, 32, a resident of Chilmari in Kurigram and Rahela Khatun, 29, of Taraganj upazila in Rangpur district, thousands of women who live in the remote char areas are still deprived of the knowledge of technology.
In order to get the benefits of technology nationally, it is important for all the people of a country to have interest, skills and access to technology. According to a recent report of mass media, 15 percent of women aged 15-29 in rural areas use the internet.
In urban areas, the rate is slightly higher (20 percent). Eighty percent of young men in urban and rural areas have their own phones, compared to 40 percent for young women. In other words, half of the youth of the country, the rate of Internet experience among women is much lower. This rate is lower than that of men in the first place, but much lower in rural areas than in women living in urban areas.
Latifa Zaman, Chairperson of Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT) and Professor in the Department of Robotics and Mechatronics Engineering at Dhaka University, said, "The participation of women in technology is much lower not only in Bangladesh , but also across the glove. But the hope is that women's participation is increasing day by day. However, this participation is city-centric. There is no alternative to increase this number in rural areas.
"In addition to increasing the technical knowledge of girls, they have to involve in technology oriented incoming works to achieve the SDGs. During Corona epidemic, we saw that the girls became self-sufficient by earning through F-Commerce. Therefore, initiative has to be taken to increase the participation of girls in e-commerce, not just F-commerce."
The role of information and communication technology in meeting the overall development and SDG targets of the country is immense. In the meantime, various services in the public and private sectors have been digitized, and others are on the way. Those who are able to acquire knowledge of technology will benefit from it and the rest will fall behind.
In this situation, the dream of inclusive development as described in the SDGs will not be realized. Therefore, in order to reap the benefits of all developmental activities, the youth force, which is the lifeblood of our country, must be developed as skilled workforce in this regard.
Technology must be made equally accessible and usable in all regions of the country and to all people. This requires technical training and advice, as well as the necessary devices and Internet services to make accessible to all people.
It is also important to make technology safe for women as well as women friendly. If all people can be made developed with interest in use of technology, it will improve the quality of living standard and play a vital role to attain the SDGs.


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