What gives women this unique perspective that gender equity has to be the topic of our century in government policies, labour policies and in developmental goals. Regardless of this effort, women all over the world are still marginalised Zimbabwe is no exception. Although gender has been recognised as an important factor within development policy since all least in the 1970’s there is still lack of practice to match the rhetoric.
While the theme of technology dominates any discussion on the digital revolution and the way it can transform Zimbabwe, how much are women involved in this revolution. To make the most of opportunities offered by this digital revolution it needs bolder female innovators but how best can we in co-operate women in the Postal and Telecommunication Sector. Looking at the report by Potraz the number of people employed on full-time basses in the postal and telecommunications sector declined by 9.9% to reach 6,178 in 2017 from 6193 employees recorder in 2016. Female constituted 31.5% of workforce up from 29.9% recorded in 2010.
Even though the figures are increasing there is apparent lack of gender diversity in the industry. Although in the sector there was a rise in the workforce of females the number is low compared to males. Some of the factors to this includes the nature of the workplace, inadequate support from society for women to work freely in this industry, exclusion from innovative roles and unequal pay and benefits.
The birth and growth of areas like Information Communication Technology (ICT) have expanded horizons for women who want to take up careers in the fields once considered masculine. According to Telone one of the largest telecommunication company in Zimbabwe, the company had 1719 full-time employees as at 31st Dec 2017, 3.2% decline in women. It is still a man’s world in the African phenomenon, the marginalisation of women in science is not unique in Zimbabwe. Representation of women in the industry is even direr, this is an indictment on the limited attention paid to women in sciences. Girls and women have not had the same access to education as their male counterparts. Institutional structures and a persistent lack of support into workplace have disadvantaged women in their quest to progress in technological careers. Discrimination remains academia as elsewhere in the society.
Increasing women’s involvement input and access to Science and Technology is essential to reducing poverty, creating job opportunities, increasing agricultural and industrial productivity (Butler. J 2015). It is also a key to improving how we use technology especially in vital developmental areas of water resources management, food production and processing and sanitation. It is up to the Society to encourage and support women to take up careers in science and technology starting at school levels.
As technology ecosystem is re-shaping the African economy, the instrumental role played by women in this sector should be made visible local and global level. Women are inspiring role models for the future digital world but still, they are marginalised.