Bungoma Deputy Governor Janepher Mbatiany has asked women to embrace digital technology for economic empowerment and equality.
Speaking in Cheptais, Mt. Elgon Sub County, during the annual commemoration of International Women’s Day, organized by the Bungoma County in collaboration with other stake holders under the theme ‘Digit ALL Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’, Mbatiany noted that according to a survey by her office in Bungoma County only 40 per cent of the women embrace technology.
The Deputy Governor urged women that as time changes there is need for women to also change with time embrace technology. “Embracing technology will enable women do away with some vices in the society including Gender Based Violence (GBV) cases and insecurity in the region,” she noted.
Mbatiany noted that women embracing technology will enable them to report cases of GBV in time, learn more and exchange ideas hence curb the vice in the society.
The Deputy Governor noted whenever there is insecurity in any part of the county or country, it is women and children who suffer most but by embracing technology by installation of CCTV, calling police stations on time in case of security threats or reporting suspects, that will reduce cases of insecurity.
She asked the Ministry of Information Communication and the Digital Economy to increase Wi-Fi access centres more so in rural areas in Bungoma County like Mt Elgon Sub County and Tongaren and other places that internet has not been connected giving government facilities and school first priority.
Mbatiany also called upon national, polytechnic and tertiary institution to also give priority to women to learn more on digital technology that will not only enable them to learn but also earn source of income.
Mbatiany acknowledged the milestones achieved on the gender equality agenda all over the world and the Affirmative Action in the Kenyan Constitution that has empowered more women into leadership positions.
“As we celebrate this day, I want us to reflect on the strides made so far in championing women issues across the globe, the place of innovation and technology in the gender equality discourse and space”, she stated.
She reiterated that the County Government of Bungoma is committed to supporting women empowerment programmes across all the nine Sub Counties, and that more budget will be injected in the Gender Department to enhance service delivery to the people.
“We have noted with great concern budget deficit in the Gender Department to allow execution of programmes as outlined. Governor Ken Lusaka intends to increase the amount in the future,” he said.
Mbatiany reaffirmed the County Government ‘s intention to grow small and medium enterprises for women in the County while encouraging women to form productive groups and Saccos in order to benefit from the Women Fund.
She further decried cyber bullying meted on women, and called on the National Government to formulate stiff laws and policies that will protect the public against cybercrimes.
Mbatiany was accompanied by Bungoma County Executive Committee Member (CECM) Gender Nancy Kibaba, Chief Officer Saphia Awil, Nominated MCA Maureen Katila, Gender Advisor Jemimah Temko, Office of Woman Representative Catherine Wambilianga, Senior County Government officers and approximately 2500 women were in attendance.
By Douglas Mudambo