The Uganda government is putting emphasis on reducing the gender gap in the ICT and science sectors, which are are still characterized by overwhelming male dominance.

According to the minister of Gender Labor and Social Development Betty Amongi, a number of avoidable factors have kept females out of the sectors, and this is what government wants to eliminate.

Amongi says that in the last 25 years or so, there has been an increase in girls excelling in science, technology and engineering.

“However, girls are still disproportionately affected in terms of education and skills development in respect to these fields, because of the social-cultural issues that disadvantage girls from the beginning.”

Though a number of programs and projects by the government, civil society and the private sector have been put up to increase female participation in these areas, the minister says because of the social-cultural issues, females are still in a way being sidelined.

Government information indicates that of all women only 63.4 per cent own mobile phones in Uganda, compared to the 78.2 per cent of men who do.

The same survey found that of the 6,193 medical doctors in Uganda, 37 per cent are female compared, whereas in engineering, women only constitute 7 per cent the rest are men. In Architecture, women are at 20 per cent.

According to the minister who was addressing journalists about the status of women ahead of the national celebrations, affirmative action must be taken to reduce these numbers, because this country’s population has more women than men, and if they are empowered in science and technology, it will be a significant step in economic development.

DUring the celebrations, the government launched a 217-million-dollar grant from the World Bank to increase productivity among women, under the Generating Growth and Opportunities for Women (GROW).

It was indicated that part of the grant will be specifically set aside for science and technology innovations for women and will be started off by supplementary budget of 21 billion shillings.

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