By Etuka Sunday
Civil Society Organisation (NGO), under the auspices of Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) yesterday raised a voice against what it described as digital marginalization of women in Nigeria.
CITAD said, a research conducted in four communities namely Doganjiji and Azare in Bauchi state and Dakata and Zaura Baba Kano state showed low digital usage by women in the North due to several factors, therefore, there was need to bridge the gap.
Speaking at Civil Society Consultative Meeting on the Internet Code of Practice Development in Nigeria, organised by CITAD, its Executive Director, said, women should be given equal right to access information in the internet especially those at the rural areas.
He said, the Nigerian government, through the telecommunications regulator, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) was set to develop a Code of Practice for internet usage in the country and given the importance of internet to critical development, civil society would like to make input to the process.
According to him, in order to generate the input, CITAD brought different civil society organisations together to deliberate on the issue and come up with positions that they can submit to the NCC process.
The objectives of the proposed code among others are to protect the rights and interests of internet service providers and consumers, provide jointly agreed and effective solutions to the issues of discriminatory traffic management practices;
Ensure adequate safeguards are put in place by service providers against abuses such as unsolicited messages; outline the obligations of Service Providers in relation to offensive and potentially harmful content for minors and vulnerable audiences.
Also speaking in a presentation, the Chairperson, Nigeria Internet Governance Forum/West African Internet Governance Forum, Mrs Mary Uduma said, there is a money set aside by the federal government through NCC USP Fund running into billions of naira which is not utilised.
She advised that communities should identify their needs and approach the Federal Government through the NCC.