For Men Only?

Mary Githinji, 26, Nairobi, Kenya
facebook: http://www.facebook.com/marie.githinji
twitter: @mariegithinji






Education: I have an advanced diploma in business information technology.
Employed at: I am a Web developer, freelancer
Hobbies: I have a passion for technology, I read a lot, and I also love to watch movies.
Your wish for Kenya: My wish for Kenya is that more people will embrace technology in solving problems, especially women. These women will understand that there is no such thing as careers “meant for men only”. And I guess men have to learn this as well.

Women in tech – Please, tell us about the status quo in Africa, Marie.
If you take a look at any IT department in East Africa you will notice that women who embrace technology as a career are still a rare. IT has been seen as a career that is only suitable to males within the African community. Therefore the men-women ratio in IT is still 9:1. But it is changing. Even though slowly. The shift started about 10 years ago: more and more women are trying to embrace technology and apply for IT related courses. Especially in Kenya. It is still a long way to go for women and men – men have to accept women in their new role and women have to go for it!

Any example where WE can already see the change?
The Akirachix network is a very good example. It is a forum for girls in IT. The community is steadilygrowing. Their goal is to empower women interested in IT in Kenya.
Akira is a Japanese word that means energy and intelligence. These two words aptly describe this group of ladies: “We are intelligent and we bring all our energy together to help and empower the greater community of girls out there.”
Akirachix has successfully launched a training program for girls from poor backgrounds by offering them free IT training courses. The same group of girls has also been asponored by infodev to run a mobile social network lab in Nairobi.
Akirachix is based in Kenya but they are planning to reach out to other parts in Africa and to the rest of the world.

Do women earn less than men for the same job?
Every case is unique, but men are paid better than women in ICT. This is because there tehy are given more responsibilities than women because they are seen as more capable.



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