The USAID Momentum Country and Global Leadership (USAID – MOMENTUM) has expressed the need for governments and relevant stakeholders to support women in embracing digital innovation.

The State Team Leader MCGL, Mrs Nneka Chijioke-Dikeocha, made the call during International Women’s Day, observed every March 8, to mark achievements so far and create more awareness with the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”.

The MCGL-USAID organised the programme in collaboration with the Ebonyi Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to commemorate the day.

Chijioke-Dikeocha said that the theme of the day was a call for more action to all stakeholders and partners to introduce financial inclusion with technology to rural women to close the digital gender gap.

He also said that the commemoration was to build support for women to embrace digital innovation and fit into the cashless policy system.
She added that women would make untold contributions to the digital world and increase opportunities for trade if they were inclusive and equitable in the system.

“It’s time to encourage and empower our women to embrace the change to promote equality.

“We need governments and stakeholders to support women in this. They should also power on in their efforts to make the digital world safer, more inclusive and equitable for women.

“They should be concerned and committed to improve, educate women and girls to make it work,” Chijioke-Dikeocha said.

Mr Stephen Onyekwelu, Spotlight Project Manager, UNESCO, advocated for sustainability in government, civil society organisations and international partners’ projects on digital technology and other programmes so far to drive the invention.

Onyekwelu urged the civil society group to take responsibility for enlightening and guiding people, particularly women and girls in the communities, to fit into the present reality of the cashless policy.

“You and I have a role to play here. Women need to be aware of the need to go digital on financial inclusion,” Onyekwelu said.

He further encouraged women to rise up to the occasion to embrace innovation, adding that the system was solidly behind gender equality.

Mrs Deborah Chinwe Okah, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, said that the theme for the year’s commemoration, “embrace equity”, emphasised the need to create an inclusive world for women.

Okah added that it also embraced equity, which should be understood and accepted that both women and men contributed equally to the betterment of the home and society.

“To embrace equity, we must cultivate the mindsets and practices necessary to create an affirmation, inclusiveness, diversity, unity and success for all,” Okah said.

She, however, stated that the state government had demonstrated commitment and dedication in matters concerning women by taking the right step towards empowering and improving the status of women and girls.

Mrs Faithvin Nwanchor, State Coordinator, Gender-based Taskforce, pledged the readiness of the group to enlighten rural communities on financial inclusion, especially women and girls.

“The theme of the event is apt, and we will go into this aspect of technology to bridge the gap,” Nwanchor said.

Mrs Goodness Mgbaja, the State Programme Officer of the Civil Resource Development and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), suggested collaboration with financial institutions, Information and Communication Technology experts to establish ways to help rural women have access to technology.