Nation Media Group’s Executive Editor Pamela Sittoni and Gender and Partnerships Editor Dorcas Muga-Odumbe were among Kenyan women feted at a gala dinner on Monday to celebrate this year’s International Women’s Day.
The celebrations held at Radisson Blu in Upper Hill, Nairobi, were organised by a local business reporters association with support from the Engineers Board of Kenya (EBK) and Centum Plc.
The aim was to recognise women in media and communications, engineering and innovation and technology who are doing exceptionally well.
Also celebrated at the event were women engineers working for the Kenya Highways Authority and Kenya Rural Roads Authority.
Ms Sittoni and Ms Odumbe scooped the winner and runner-up awards, respectively, in the Women In Media and Communications category. The third in this category was Najma Ismail a Multimedia journalist.
Under the Women In Engineering category, Ms Carol Koech was the winner, while Ms Christine Ndwiga and Ms Lilian Nandutu took the runner-up and third-placed awards, respectively.
Ms Nancy Mungai, the CEO and founder of Uppercut Digital Media won the Women In Innovation and Technology category award while Ms Diana Waithanji and Ms Nancy Muriithi came in second and third, respectively.
Digital gender gap
The awardees were celebrated for their work in highlighting the impact of the digital gender gap in their respective sectors and the widening economic and social inequality. They were also recognised for amplifying the importance of protecting the rights of women and girls in digital spaces and addressing online and ICT-facilitated gender-based violence.
This year, International Women’s Day recognises and celebrates the women and girls championing the advancement of transformative technology and digital education. The day’s theme is DigitALL: Innovation & Technology for Gender Equality.
EBK Registrar and CEO Margaret Ogai urged Kenyan women and girls not to relent in their pursuit of equal opportunities in the digital and innovation spaces, as well as science, technology, engineering and mathematics (Stem) courses in schools.
“We would like to see as many Kenyan girls leading the digital revolution and winning. The board is keen on ensuring global engineering standards are entrenched here in Kenya so that our girls and women can excel in technology and innovation side by side with their male colleagues on a level playing field, where the only thing that counts is personal excellence and not gender,” said Ms Ogai.
She further noted that despite the increasing dependence on technology across the world, the digital gender gap remains a significant problem. She said girls and women are often excluded from the digital world due to factors such as lack of access to technology, cultural restrictions and gender-based violence.