“Empowering women is key to building a future we want” – Amartya Sen

India has undoubtably become one of the fastest growing economies in the world in recent years. However, gender gap is one of the primary factors that needs attention for future growth prospects. As per the Global Gender Gap Report 2021 of the World Economic Forum, women’s skills are not always in line with the ‘professions of the future’. Particularly in IT and ITES sectors, women are highly underrepresented. For example, in cloud computing only 12% are women, while in emerging technologies AI and Data Analytics/Science their participation is just 26%. Further, there are only 15% women in the engineering field. Thus, massive efforts are needed to prepare women in the emerging technologies and related professions. This is possible only when there is greater enrolment of girls in higher and technical education.

While the developing countries in SA region are making efforts to reduce the gender gap in the higher and technical education, a lot more is expected for the overall growth of the third world. Particularly in the least developed countries like Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and lower middle-income countries like India, there is a significant gender disparity in science and engineering educational institutions. As the world witnesses digital transformation in every field, it is paramount that the young generation be future-technology ready. The current pandemic has led to unprecedented growth in the usage of digital platforms and learning management systems in the education world as well. Thus, serious efforts must be made for greater participation of girls in the emerging technologies and future professions for the growth of the region.

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