Minister of Information, Communications Technology and Civic Education Patricia Kaliati has advised girls in the country to venture into Information, Communications Technology (ICT) field.
Kaliati said few women and girls use ICT in the country because of the widely-held perception that ICT and related science subjects are mainly male oriented fields.
She was speaking in Lilongwe during the commemoration of Girls in ICT Day.
“The lack of a large pool of professional women in the ICT industry that can inspire and encourage young girls to take up ICT as a career is a challenge; limited opportunities and stigma when girls want to take up ICT in mostly male dominated male schools and generally, higher illiteracy rates among females than males are other issues that affect girls,” said Kaliati.
She added: “I want to assure you that the future of the ICT sector is very exciting, it is, therefore, important to encourage you to study ICT and that is the only way you can enjoy the benefits that the future holds in ICT.”
She also advised parents, teachers and career guidance counselors and recruiters to be aware of and acknowledge that ICT careers are an important and viable opportunity for girls adding that women already active in ICT sector need to take the time to engage with girls and mentor them in participating in ICT.
The International Girls in ICT commemorations are facilitated by MACRA and this year Malawi joined the international community to commemorate the day under the theme: ‘Expand Horizons, Change Attitudes.’
The day is an initiative backed by International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and member states are encouraged to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs).