In her speech on March 13, during the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women in New York, the Malian Minister for the Promotion of Women, Children and the Family, Wadidié Founè Coulibaly, raised the commitment and progress made by the Malian authorities in promoting women’s rights. She assured that Mali remains committed to other countries so that digital technology can contribute to gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.
The 67th session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, which started on March 6 and will end today March 17, saw the presence of Minister Wadidié Founé Coulibaly, at the head of a strong delegation . This year’s theme is: “Innovation, technological change and education in the digital age to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”.
A speech on the situation of women in Mali, the progress, the challenges related to the condition of women in Mali was held by the Minister for the Promotion of Women, Children and the Family. The latter indicated that the Malian authorities, aware of the issues related to digital technology, have dedicated an entire ministerial department which coordinates the action of the government within the framework of the National Policy and the National Strategic Plan for Information Technologies and Communication.
Also, the establishment of structures such as the Universal Access Fund Management Agency, the Information and Communication Technologies Agency, the Malian Transmission and Dissemination Company.
Minister Wadidié will reveal the existence of three mobile telephone operators, namely Moov Africa Mali, Orange Mali and Telecel. However, with a population estimated at more than twenty million inhabitants, more than half of whom are women, Mali has, according to 2021 statistics: 25,177,577 telephone subscribers, including 24,896,503 mobile subscribers (more than 90% ) and 281,074 fixed subscribers, 9,678,465 internet users, i.e. a proportion of 45.48% of the population.
241 women evolve in the field of ICT in the Malian public administration, that is to say 26.82% of the computer personnel of the State. The boss of the Department of Women’s Advancement suggested that projects are initiated to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through information and communication techniques.
In this area, she noted the “Buy from Women” project, which is an information system at the service of women farmers. The number of registrants is 1,422 women farmers, 35 cooperatives, 20 suppliers, 22 food processors and 1,596 buyers, the Universal Access Center project which trained, financed and equipped with computers, office furniture, panels solar panels and batteries for dozens of women, the Case WIFI project which has equipped 100 schools with tablets with educational applications accompanied by all the necessary equipment.
This project has in perspective the equipment of 150 schools, the 50 million women have the floor project which is an interactive digital platform for women in business with 2,026 registered women entrepreneurs, the Support Fund for the Empowerment Women and Child Development and the Support Project for the Economic Empowerment of Women in the Shea Sector, which finance training activities in information and communication technologies for women and girls for their empowerment.
There is also the provision of laptop computers to more than 20,000 students. Thus, there are more than 27,000 women and girls involved in training and/or equipment activities since 2021. However, in view of the progress made on the theme of this session, Minister Wadidié Founé Coulibaly also recognized that Mali, a continental country, is experiencing challenges which are called: access to information and communication technology tools, internet access, access to energy sources, the lack of culture in the use of these technologies, the security situation which causes the destruction of digital installations by terrorists, anything that reduces women’s and girls’ access to digital technology.
“Mali remains committed to other countries so that digital technology can contribute to achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls”concluded the minister.