Taiwo Odukoya, husband of Pastor Bimbo Odukoya

Committed to a world in which every woman and girl-child is not only safe but empowered to be an impact full member of society, the Pastor Bimbo Odukoya Foundation (PBOF), a not-for-profit, non-governmental, independent faith-based organization, has once again reiterate the need to bridge the gender gap in STEM.

The foundation made the call yesterday, during its Girl Empowered Conference held at the Fountain of Life Church in Ilupeju, Lagos, as part of activities to mark this year’s edition of the International Day of the Girl Child.

With this year’s theme as: ‘With Her: A Skilled Girl-Force’, speakers at the event, challenged the over 900 female students from 13 secondary schools in Local Educational District VI of the Lagos State Educational Board not to limit their dreams, instead be inspired them to take bold steps towards acquiring skills that would help them secure a better future.

Speaking at the event, the chief executive officer of Code Tutor, CEO Ade Olowojoba, in a hearty interactive session with the students on ‘Beyond the Classroom: Leveraging Opportunities for Technology’, encourage them to dismissed the myth that technology is exclusive reserved for boys alone.

Engaging the students on how to communicate online and speaking on the topic: ‘Social Media Utilization: Internet Security’, cyber bullying expert, Charity Babatunde, urged them to be wary of the kind of posts they upload on their social media pages — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat among others.

She also advised them to be very observant of the kind of friends they keep online and keep their accounts private.

Babatunde cautioned the girls, saying, “don’t be desperate for friends. You don’t have to accept every friend request; accept only the ones you know.

Also you must know the right words to use, especially when you are posting or reacting to a sensitive topic of discussion.”

Another speaker at the event was Olaide Agboola, a software developer with Andela. She took the students through: Career Mentorship in STEM, highlighting various career paths the student can choose and maximize the dreams.

“You can be whoever you want to be and your sex should not impede your career path. This is why we want more women to embrace technology, because technology is a liberator,” she said.

With the United Nations warning that young women across the globe have less access to education, technology and resources like the internet, and so they are falling behind boys in gaining employable skills, especially in STEM, Programme Director, PBOF, Osasu Paul-Azino, said the Girl Empowered initiative is basically the foundation’s way of empowering the girl-child.

“Bulk of what we do is focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

We use this as base to empower the girl-child and position her to aim for the zenith. It is important to educate the girl-child because when you educate a girl you educate a nation.

“Women are known to be nurtures; at every point in time they are able to nurture their skills, ability to become more. We have passed the time were the girl-child is relegated to background because they to large extent often hold their families up,” she said.

Source: Naija Hope Team

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