By Toneo Tonderai Ruitsito
The Computer Society of Zimbabwe, Harare Chapter yesterday held the woman in ICT conference at Jameson Hotel.
The panel had four women leading the discussion deliberating mainly on the challenges women face in their day to day life as they fight for recognition in an industry largely dominated by their male counterparts
The challenges of low self-esteem, lack of confidence and “pull her down syndrome” were identified as the major factors affecting the uplifting of the female counterparts even outside the technological industry.
“Woman will always want to find faults amongst others even after a well-polished job, we somehow enjoy focusing on the trivialities,” said one of the guest woman amongst the attendees.
The discussion almost drifted away from the main agenda which was woman in ICTs as emotions drove people off to focus more on the man to woman comparison denigrating the discussion into a gender issue.
An interesting point was raised by one of the man attending, while he said” even the current education system itself has accepted that women are inferior to man as you see an A level male student with 15 points getting the same priority with a female student with 12 points”
This sends the message home that even though you may all be applying for computer science course, a female student with much lesser points may qualify as women are treated as individuals with lower IQ.
The comment drew the ire of women sharply disagreeing, with one of the attendees clinically defending that its simply a way to motivate the girls to join an industry wrongfully perceived to be only for men.
Another major weakness identified amongst the female was that given the same job or task at work, most women would not go up in the ceiling to fix a computer networking cable issue.
Female students seemed to have given a no show and having them involved too would strike a balance as some of the pertinent issues discussed directly affected them, and also as the future woman in Zimbabwe.
Speaking to one of the organisers of the event, Mrs Viola Dondo who is also the deputy director of Computer Society of Zimbabwe, said the event was a success because it has managed to provoke woman to ask for more and be challenged to take up space in the technological world.
During a sideline interview,Mrs Joice Benza the CEO of X-pert solutions said that once a woman is educated she is also empowered to be much more confident and takeup on any task the male counterpart is doing and even more.
Leading the discussion was a panel of four women including Primrose Chivere a computer expert with Zimbabwe Newspapers was guiding the flow of the discussion.
Pioneering and driving such programmes takes a lot of commitment and patience and we greatly commend the Computer Society of Zimbabwe for putting women in perspective as we seek to drive the growth of ICTs in Zimbabwe.
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