The digital economy opens opportunities for new and rewarding professions in Kenya and across the globe, while at the exact same time eliminating a substantial number of administrative, clerical, and non-skilled tasks– with females the most affected by these changes. Many young women are missing out on technology-related profession opportunities, which is much more stressing when paired with the decline in task development in fields traditionally dominated by ladies.
Yet the gender space in the details and interactions innovation (ICT) workforce begins much earlier in females’s lives, as really few ladies enroll in digital technology-related courses at the tertiary level of education. In Kenya, the rate of ladies graduating university with an ICT degree is disproportionately low, consisting of less than 30 percent of ICT graduates, thus leading to the underrepresentation of females in digital technology professions. As a 2022 Echidna Global Scholar, I decided to conduct a research study on how Kenya can develop a holistic education policy reaction that would assist alleviate the cumulative drawbacks that omit girls and young women from digital technology-related courses throughout their instructional trajectories.
WHAT ARE THE CUMULATIVE DISADVANTAGES THAT ARE LEADING TO GENDER-BASED EXEMPTION IN DIGITAL RELATED COURSES IN KENYA?
My examination sought to determine why girls and young women were not taking ICT courses from the lowest to the greatest level of education. Some of my findings are highlighted below:
- Negative effect of gendered social norms
In focus groups, we examined whether girls were made to feel that particular homestead chores were meant for them, while others– specifically physical chores– were implied for young boys. The girls that thought that specific homestead chores were indicated for women and others for young boys tended to lean toward profession choices that have actually been traditionally related to ladies, while those that did not report such biases felt that career option should not be dictated by gender. The focus group data indicates that a relationship might exist between gendered social norms and the type of careers that women find themselves in.
- Poor advocacy of digital technology professions
Most of the girls in the research study, at all levels of education, not just did not understand about the existence of digital innovation careers, however they also might not call a single female in the ICT industry. This could be attributed to numerous aspects: chief among them, a lack of direct exposure to ladies good example who work in ICT, unavailability of literature and media direct exposure promoting females working in ICT, and bad advocacy of digital technology professions during their education.
- Inadequate professional counseling
The majority of the girls who were pursuing ICT-related courses at the tertiary level had a sensible quantity of digital technology profession knowledge, but a lot of exposed that the ICT course that they were taking was an alternative choice after they were not able to gain admission to their first-choice course. This suggests an absence of efficient vocational counseling offered to the women prior to they chose examinable courses in secondary school courses.