ICTs - Inter-generational Connections

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls
Posted April 24, 2019 from Fiji

As a girl I was so lucky to watch the changing information and communication technology through the work of my mother.

From the manual typewriter to a range of electric typewriters and then lo and behold the word processor! From the telex machine to the revolutionary fax machine to emails ! 

My mother, "she who guided my feminist journey" also introduced me to the importance of appropriate technology - which means just because it's new it doesn't mean it's going to work for everyone.

My sisters from the disability rights movement here in Fiji deepened my understanding of when planning media and ICT projects we need to consider whether we are being inclusive and truly supporting access.

My mother encouraged me to learn how to type and write stories as well as look at the technology and it was my father who was there with me when I took my first steps into a local mobile radio station and into the world of broadcast technology! 

As a mother, and also an aunt today, I am in awe of the range of technology available to my children and their cousins and their peers.

But I am also aware that in too many of our communities access to technology is a matter of affordability of data and even availability and affordability of electricity. For girls who rely on Cyber cafes in town, it is also a matter of their personal safety and security. 

These barriers must be overcome if we do not want to exacerbate the digital divide. It is important for parents in these communities to also be educated to bridge the inter-generational ICT divide to be able to support their daughters in particular to think about futures linked to ICTs. 

Content creation is important, and that is at the heart of what I do, but as a parent I am also learning and    understanding how technology enables innovation and opportunity even from rural communities - whether it is demystifying SMS application to website and media technology!

Collectively we must be encouraging our girls and daughters to think about careers with ICTs that can transform communities and lives - from media content to medical services - from agricultural production to agri-marketing.

Kudos to the Fiji Association of Women Graduates who with the support of The Fiji Women's Fund are hosting a STEM workshop for girls during the current school holidays here in Fiji's capital - Suva. 

Kudos to other women's funds like the Global Fund for Women and women's organisations who are implrimpleme similar programmes !

We need to sustain and enhance the investment for all girls to reach their full potential through access to technology to shape and define their futures! 


This story was submitted in response to Girls in ICT Day.

Comments 6

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Dawn Arteaga
Apr 24
Apr 24

Yes! I couldn't agree more Sharon! I love your story - and am so proud World Pulse gets to count on you as an Ambassador!

Sharon Bhagwan Rolls

Thank you Dawn!

Jill Langhus
Apr 25
Apr 25

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for sharing your inspirational, personal ICT story. It sounds like your parents are great role models, and that you are very fortunate to have them. I agree that collectively we must encourage girls and women to pursue ICT careers.

Hope you're having a great day, and week!

Apr 25
Apr 25

Dear Sharon,
Very thoughful points you raised. I wholly agree with you.

Apr 27
Apr 27

Lovely, ICT has make our world a global village, even Fiji is not left out haha.
Thanks for sharing.

Hello, Sharon,

It's great to know that your mother raised you well, and you are surrounded with women who have interest in ICT, too. Kudos on the initiatives that you do. I agree with Dawn, I'm proud that you are a World Pulse Ambassador, too!