IWD: CANTO calls for gender equality in tech

CANTO staff. Photo courtesy CANTO.

International Women’s Day is a time to reflect on progress made, to call for change and to celebrate acts of courage and determination by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in the history of their countries and communities” United Nations

The United Nations calls for us to consider how to accelerate the 2030 Agenda, building momentum for the effective implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals, especially number 4,  Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning and goal number 5,  Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

Against the backdrop of the 2017 International Woman’s Day theme: “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030”; CANTO is pleased to note that sixty percent (60%) of our Board of Directors comprises women, with the second highest position of Vice Chair being occupied by a woman.

It is also remarkable to note that ninety percent (90%) of the Secretariat staff are women which underscores the Association’s commitment in encouraging and promoting gender equality.

Here at CANTO, we proudly celebrate the achievements of women and believe that the road map for change and gender equality rests on education, training, and the opportunities given in the pursuit of careers including technology, research, politics and culture. We accomplish this by programs that encourage competition on an equal basis – including our Video and Hackathon Competitions.

Further to this CANTO seeks to encourage Women in Tech, encompassing both extremes of the generational spectrum by catering to the youth in joining the ITU in celebrating “Girls in ICT Day” annually and also by incorporating a Caribbean Women in ICT Forum during our annual conference, which seeks to promote and highlight women in the industry who are game changers.

CANTO members, we are encouraged by the progress women have made over the years, but we are also cognizant of the fact that a lot more needs to be done if we are to play our part in effectively achieving the new Sustainable Development Goals.

We need to embrace, empower, support and celebrate women in every sphere of life. Women’s rights and gender equality, should not only be addressed within organizational boundaries; but let us strive to delve further within the social boundaries and communities in which we operate and seek to make a difference in the protection of women.

Let us achieve this by re-imagining the policies in our organizations to promote gender equality and encourage lifelong learning. As stated by the Secretary General of the UK, “Women’s rights are human rights” and we strongly believe that organizations that promote women’s rights are also promoting human rights and are on the right path for success.

About Mark Lyndersay

Mark Lyndersay is a writer and photographer based in Trinidad and Tobago. He writes editorial leaders for Guardian Media Limited, for whom he has written more than 1,300 since 2001, feature writing and reviews and his column, BitDepth, which has examined personal technology issues continuously over the last 20 years. As a photographer, he divides his time between commercial assignments and annual report photography and personal projects like Local Lives, which examines the backstory of life and culture in Trinidad and Tobago.

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  • Taran Rampersad

    All the obvious stuff aside – insurance, etc – the real key issue here is the inflexible vehicle registration issue that people are burdened with. A brilliant example is the pickup that has a speed limit of 65 km/hr despite being registered for private use.

    That the systems need to change to accommodate progress is something many of us have repeated ad nauseam for decades. What we do not see is the actual progress.

    In the case of Uber, it’s going to be hit or miss. Despite what vocal people think, if the issue were to be put to a vote I doubt that the majority of people care enough to make this an issue. People have been ‘pulling bull’ for years, and while Uber offers coordination of it without the bureaucratic checks and balances (which, really, some should exist) at the cost of sending foreign exchange out. Wait, what? You mean the people who complain about foreign exchange aren’t concerned about that? Ahh, the hypocrisy.

    Could something LIKE Uber work? Oh, most certainly, just as one can open a coffee shop in Trinidad and Tobago without spending money on a franchise, both up front and recurring costs (foreign exchange). But Trinis are allergic to things made in T&T, and usually with a fair reason.