Women compete on their self-developed applications in Ghana’s Ms. Contest
What do you imagine from the word “Ms. Contest”? If your answer is a beautiful woman, you might be regarded as having low awareness of gender equality. Everyone should know what gender equality is: It is listed fifth in the 17 goals of the SDGs. It encourages to think and to act equally rather than discriminate on socially and culturally formed gender.
Incidentally, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released on December 17th the latest “Global Gender Gap Index” focusing on only the “gender gap” and comparing it by country, and Japan ranked 121st among 153 countries. It was even lower than 114th placed in 2017 (out of 144 countries) and the lowest in seven major countries (G7).
In a context of growing awareness of gender equality around the world, an unusual competition was held in Ghana. In this competition, participants competed on their self-developed applications, not on beauty. This contest, named “Miss Geek Ghana”, was designed to promote women’s success in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Targeting women between the ages of 13 and 25, participants compete on their apps for solving social and economic issues in Ghana, rather than enhance their beauty. The top three competitors receive cash prizes and business training, and the finalist also receives financing to implement and launch a project.
The winner of the competition held on December 5 was Domi-Kuwornu Ama Selasi, who developed a mobile money antitheft app “Kasa-Cash System.” She received a cash prize of 10,000GCH (approximately 190,000 yen), a laptop, internet connection for one year, and application development support of the Miss Geek Competition.
Ursula Owusu, the Minister of Communications, also known as the female politician in Ghana, commented that “we have launched the Miss Geek Competition to allow women to solve challenges in various countries using technology.” “We want to contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by developing young women as promoters, not as consumers, of information and communication technology.” According to the Ministry of Communications, the main goal of the Competition is to enable women to develop IT solutions to address social issues in Ghana and around the world by raising women’s interest in information and communication technology and encouraging them to study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) within the next five years. The Ministry also states that it aims to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs by ensuring 2% of women in Ghana to use technology to solve challenges and 20% of those who are involved in mathematics to promote innovation each year.
We expect that such contests supporting women’s advancement in society will further increase.