KIGALI, Rwanda, Oct. 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Rwanda aims to bridge the digital gender divide within five years, the country's First Lady Mrs. Jeannette Kagame has said.
Rwanda is closing all loopholes to erase the difference between how much access Rwandan women and men have to science and technology.
The First Lady said on Tuesday that the plan is to "address the digital gender divide and do so in the shortest time possible."
"Why are female scientists and technologists still seen as an exception?" wondered Mrs. Kagame as she addressed a high level segment of the 2nd edition of Transform Africa Summit in the capital Kigali.
The First Lady spoke before a panel discussion on 'Digital Inclusion for Women's empowerment.' She also pushed for digital women inclusion as the recently signed sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are being implemented.
"We need to challenge the approach of what is appropriate for women," said Mrs. Kagame.
"I have no doubt that Rwanda, and Africa as a whole, has not seen the last of young promising female innovators."
Jeannette Kagame's charity Imbuto Foundation promotes girls' education in the country.
The organization since 2001 has supported thousands of young girls and boys access education.
Mrs. Kagame, who also doubles as the patron of the 'New Faces New Voices' Rwanda chapter - a global women empowerment initiative, has set a target to raise $20 million to support women to access finance.
Ingrid Brudvig, from World Wide Web foundation said that 62% of women value the web as a space for commenting on important issue, while 25% less likely than men to look for a job online.
Rwanda has emerged among the few countries moving quickly to cut down the gender digital divide.
For instance, more than 100 girls in science have recently graduated from Gashora Girls' Academy in eastern Rwanda. Government incentives are making girls out-compete boys in science subjects.
Rwanda recently organized a holiday science camp for 120 girls from nine countries including South Africa and the United States.
The initiative, the first of its kind in Rwanda, was a collaboration involving Microsoft, the US First Lady Michelle Obama and the US State Department.
Speaking at Transform Africa in Kigali, Jeannette Kagame told girls "to be bold, be curious and never doubt your ability to change things for the better."
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