“Women in ICT” part of the digital economic development agenda

Prishtina, 28 Oct – Ministry of Economic Development’s initiative “Women in ICT” aims to open doors to women’s formal employment in the ICT sector, as Kosovo stands committed to pursuing digital economy as one of its greatest priorities. This was one of the conclusions of today’s forum “Women in ICT” organized by the Ministry of Economic Development, World Bank and Norwegian Embassy in Prishtina.

Deputy-Minister of Economic Development Besa Zogaj-Gashi said that this forum aims to gather all main stakeholders in the ICT sphere, while focusing on women and discussing opportunities related to their empowerment, and aiming to make this an annual organization that follows developments in this sector.

“The Government of Kosovo is striving to enhance women employment in strategic sectors, including ICT, and this initiative is supported by the World Bank in the shape of support to the implementation of a pilot project, which will test the adequacy of online jobs for unemployed women in rural areas, which will be spread in all Kosovo municipalities,” she said.

She informed that MED has already established an informal Advisory Board, gathering representatives of the Government, private sector, NGOs and academic institutions, which will help in the realization of MED’s agenda for women in ICT.

Minister of Finance, Avdullah Hoti, underscored that MED’s initiative on the establishment of the ICT employment Fund is an initiative that will result in enhanced employment of youth, especially women.

On the other hand, Hikmete Bajrami, Minister of Trade and Industry, said that the organization of this forum is a testament to the serious approach of the Government towards ICT development, and especially towards the role of women in this sphere, with the aim of improving its position in employment in both private and public sectors.

The Minister of Labor and Social Welfare, Arban Abrashi, expressed his support for the initiative and said that he remains convinced that the empowerment of women in ICT will also be reflected in alleviation of unemployment.

Jan Peter Olters, World Bank’s Kosovo Country Manager, said that the most of online jobs can be performed by any location, at any time and under very flexible conditions. As such, every opportunity available to this potentially remarkable sector would enable young women from rural areas to become part of formal education, regardless of the location of their residences or other family obligations they might have.

Norwegian Ambassador in Kosovo, Jan Braathu, encouraged youth, especially women, to remain engaged in this sector, as this sector is open to all.

Otherwise, the Government of Republic of Kosovo and World Bank are supporting women in the information and communication technology sector (ICT). Through the financing of the pilot-project ‘green jobs’ these two institutions will support at least 100 women from rural areas, which are unemployed or employed part-time, to gain technical and communication skills necessary for online jobs.