What you need to know:
- The gaps are wider among poor women and girls, those living in rural and informal settlements, those with disabilities, the less educated, and those offering unpaid care and domestic work.
- Ngec chairperson Joyce Mutinda, in a statement, said increased resource allocation to digital literacy programmes is vital to achieving a gender-responsive ecosystem.
The National Gender and Equality Commission (Ngec) has called on state and private firms to enhance investments aimed at bridging existing digital gender gaps.
These gaps are wider among poor women and girls, those living in rural and informal settlements, those with disabilities, the less educated, and those offering unpaid care and domestic work.
Ngec chairperson Joyce Mutinda, in a statement, said increased resource allocation to digital literacy programmes is vital to achieving a gender-responsive ecosystem.
"While ownership of mobile phones is nearly equal between men and women in the country, the major differences are in the use of such phones for financial transactions, trading or accessing other crucial e-commerce services.
"The digital literacy-related gender inequalities are exacerbated by insufficient digital infrastructure, digital insecurity, online violence, and disparities in access to the internet and ownership of smartphones," she said.
Tech-driven gender biases
She also called on stakeholders to embrace cutting-edge strategies that eliminate technology-driven gender biases. This is in addition to providing affordable technological infrastructure and promoting safe online spaces.
"The government should continue to strengthen ICT-related legal frameworks to tackle emerging online swindles, and cat-fishing and to conclusively deal with perpetrators of online property, money and wealth scams, cyber-stalking, online child exploitation, and illegal access and manipulation of personal data."
The vices, she said, have not only increased but have also had colossal shattering effects on women's self-image, dignity, and confidence to venture into digital banking, virtual education, and collaboration applications or platforms."
Digital literacy programmes, she noted, have expanded opportunities for women and girls in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and for the development of innovative solutions. Mobile-based solutions, for instance, have been used to track and report gender-based violence and to link survivors to support services.
Dr Mutinda acknowledged that women and girls are not homogeneous, and a successful digital revolution in different settings will be determined by the resolve of all actors to embrace equity.