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Government pledges to close digital gender gap

 The government on Thursday pledged to bridge the worryingly wide digital gender gap by encouraging the greater involvement of girls in information and communications technology (ICT).

The pledge was made in an announcement by the deputy ministry of research, innovation and digital policy to mark the International Girls in ICT Day 2020 celebrated on April 23, and after data showing that Cyprus has the lowest number of girls choosing to study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Stem), both in comparison with the number of boys and with the corresponding average of the EU.

“The gap between women and men is even greater in terms of employment in ICT sectors,” the ministry said.

Citing data in last year’s Women in Digital Scoreboard the ministry said that in Cyprus, 0.7 per cent of women are ICT specialists compared to 3.8 per cent of men.

“These data clearly demonstrate the need for targeted action, promoting increased and effective participation of women in ICT sectors,” the ministry said.

It added that the development of skills in the Stem fields by women, through the selection of these disciplines for higher education and career purposes, would enhance the availability of human resources with the appropriate know-how and specialisation to meet the increased employment needs in ICT and key areas for the full development of the digital economy and society.

Increased participation in these areas, both at European and international level, is an important step towards women’s economic and social upgrading, and consequently towards gender equality, in direct relation to the goals of the UN Sustainable Development goals, it said.

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