07 March 2023 | State House.
Today, we join with the rest of the world again to highlight, recognize and celebrate women. This year’s theme, “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality,” allows us to examine women and girls and their roles and contributions to innovation and technology.
The theme recognizes and celebrates the women and girls championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education.
It is the day to highlight and recognize women’s achievements and empower women and girls with information in innovation, technology, and digital education and increase their awareness of ICT.
According to UN Women, women comprise only 22 percent of artificial intelligence workers globally. Women remain a minority in STEM education and careers, representing only 28 percent of engineering graduates, 22 percent of artificial intelligence workers, and less than one-third of tech sector employees globally. Women and girls remain underrepresented across the creation, use, and regulation of technology.
Today, a persistent gender gap in digital access keeps women from unlocking technology’s full potential. Their underrepresentation remains a major barrier to their participation in tech design and governance.
The Seychelles context is not far from what UNWomen has highlighted, but we are focused and committed as our country has already taken steps towards a digital Seychelles.
However, over the years, we have seen an increase in women’s and girls’ involvement in ICT and STEM education. We note the increasing presence of women at the Department of Information and Communications, at local telecommunications companies as well as in the annual robotics competition where the best team gets to compete at the international level.
I applaud all of you who have broken the barrier, bridging the gender gap and showing not only Seychelles but the rest of the world that women play an equal, active, and important role in innovation and technology.
Our country has made a lot of progress in digital development, and we are moving in the right direction, having the main technological infrastructure in place. However, we still have a lot to do to develop our digital ambition further. And in all this, we do take note and appreciate the crucial role and participation of our women.
Already in Seychelles, there is a level playing field where through our current education system, girls and boys are given equal opportunity to access and develop their full potential in ICT and STEM.
Globally digital technology is opening new doors for women's empowerment. Let us take steps to ensure that our Seychellois women and girls are not left behind.
On this 8th of March, I join the call and pledge to power on efforts to make the digital world safer, more inclusive, and more equitable. On this note, I would like to call on non-state actors to play an active part equally.