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 Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), together with Intel, launched the All Africa Girls STEM Competition aimed at enhancing girls' interest, participation and performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and to help the girls pursue careers in these fields.

The inaugural competition took place in Nairobi from 13th - 14th August 2014 and featured a team of 35 all-female finalists drawn from the 15 African countries where FAWE has presence.

Kenya was among the countries participating in the competition, sending 6 participants to the competition all drawn from Meru County. Other countries participating included Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zanzibar.

Speaking at the event, Intel's Africa Program Director, Suraj Shah, said "The technology sector has recently faced allegations of being a male dominated sector. Partly to blame for the situation is that not many women pick a career path in technology. Intel has chosen to be at the forefront of promoting gender balance and female participation in the technology sector, especially in Africa where technology's contribution to the economy has been growing at a fast pace".

The FAWE Science, Mathematics & Technology (SMT) programme, initiated in 2004, is aimed at increasing the participation and performance of girls in Science, Mathematics and Technology subjects in primary and secondary schools in Africa.

The programme is implemented in FAWE's Centres of Excellence (COEs) and in non-COEs schools across countries where FAWE has a presence. The collaboration between FAWE and Intel is in line with Intel's "She Will Connect program", which is an innovative combination of digital literacy training, an online peer network, and gender-relevant content.

Through the program, Intel endeavors to work with an ecosystem of partners to close this gap globally, beginning in Africa. Intel created the program as a result of the Women and the Web report in developing countries that showed 25% fewer women were online than men and in Sub-Saharan Africa, the gap rose to 43%.

As a result of this initiative, young women get the opportunity to acquire or improve digital literacy skills and expand their understanding and use of technology so that they can connect to health, government, and educational information, economic opportunities, and gender-specific resources. Consequently, these young women are able to receive better education, enhance their political participation, have a stronger voice in their communities, and increase their income by connecting to new economic opportunities.

This event created a platform for female students to test their creative, technological and innovative minds through the various STEM projects that they initiate, think through, conceptualize, develop and present for competitions at the school, national and African regional levels.

In addition to bringing together the girls, the event also brought together prominent women professionals and scientists who will  provide mentoring and motivational talks to encourage the young girls through sharing their experiences, among other activities.

Among these professionals were former FAWE beneficiaries who have made it through their education and who can serve as an inspiration to the upcoming Scientists, Mathematicians, Engineers and Technological experts.

(Source: All Africa)

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 10:02:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 13, 2014


As ICTs infiltrate all aspects of our lives, it is critical for females to actively engage as members of the Information Society.  ICTs can provide for greater gender equality in careers, which is one of the goals of the Venezuelan government. 

Many countries around the world face a shortage of trained ICT personnel and Venezuela is no exception.  In particular, the government recognizes the role girls and young women can play in filling this impending gap, promoting programs such as Infocentros Canaimitas, holding training in telecommunications and providing free software to its citizens. 

The number of Internet users in Venezuela is also rapidly increasing.  In the first quarter of 2014, data service providers estimated the number of Internet users in the country as 13 million, 50% of whom were female, demonstrating the need for discussion on women and ICT.

Recognizing the work of ITU, including its annual International Girls in ICT Day, Venezuela understands this need for further discussion on the use of ICTs for female empowerment.  As part of the “Conference on Internet Development and Social Transformation” in Caracas on Tuesday, August 12, organized by the Association of Internet Users Venezuela, Internauta, participants received training on gender mainstreaming and social issues surrounding women and ICT.  Nerissa Aguilera, a computer specialist and participant in a variety free software initiatives, delivered this training.  Aguilera is also a member of Accessible World, an organization that develops and disseminates accessible technologies for persons with disabilities.

Additional conference discussion topics included the transition from IPv4 to IPv6, free “Infogobierno” technologies, the need for a sovereign system of traffic exchange points, and other issues related to the use of ICTs for social development.

For further information see http://www.internetvenezuela.net.ve/

(Source: Conatel

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 2:46:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 11, 2014


World Pulse is honored to join the Women and the Web Alliance, a groundbreaking public-private partnership which aims to create a movement addressing the gendered Internet gap by bringing more than 600,000 young women online in Nigeria and Kenya in the next three years.

World Pulse will collaborate with USAID, NetHope, Intel Corporation, World Vision, UN Women, and Women in Technology in Nigeria to transform the lives and livelihoods of girls and women in Africa through digital literacy training, relevant content, policy work, and online social networks.

World Pulse will provide digital empowerment training and a peer network of support to sustain women’s engagement and empowerment online. Building on its strong networks in sub-Saharan Africa, World Pulse will use its digital platform to unite and amplify young women’s voices, solutions and impact worldwide.

By introducing women to the Internet, sustaining their engagement and use of technology as a tool for social and economic empowerment, World Pulse is building a future where every woman and girl believes in the power of her own voice and uses it to build a free and equitable world where all life thrives.

The Alliance was announced at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit event, Investing in Women: Strengthening Africa, hosted by the White House, the George W. Bush Institute, and the US Department of State. The event convened African First Spouses from more than 35 countries; non-governmental organizations and non-profit leaders; private sector partners; faith-based and grassroots organizations; and other leading experts.

Further information

Monday, August 11, 2014 12:03:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Minister of Communication Technology, Dr. Omobola Johnson, reiterated the Federal Government of Nigeria’s commitment to empowering Nigerian girls and women through ICT gender empowerment initiatives at an interactive session with young women undergoing training at the Ministry’s 1000 Girls ICT training program, held in Abuja, on Tuesday 15th July.

Johnson emphasized that the Ministry of CommTech is empowering women and girls to embrace ICT, to actualize their potential and contribute to the economic development of Nigeria through various technology initiatives.

The minister also said the 1000 girls programme is part of the federal government’s Girls and Women in Nigeria (GWIN) programme aimed at empowering girls and women in Nigeria.

She said, through the GWIN programme, the Ministry of Communication Technology and four other ministries, coordinated by the Finance Ministry, were working together to ensure that women and girls, especially the disenfranchised, are empowered. She said several programmes are being created to ensure the empowerment, employment and inclusion of women in the nation’s development.

“For us in ICT, this particular program is important, because when you look at the statistics, there is a big gender divide in the world of ICT. And when you look at the way ICT is relevant in all sectors and beginning to take over the way things are done in everything, that gender divide in ICT means that women will be left further behind if we don’t encourage them to embrace ICTs. The training programme will also empower the 1,000 girls with ICT skills and knowledge in the knowledge economy“, the minister said.

The program is expected to help reduce the imbalance in ICT adoption and appropriation among men and women in the country. Johnson said that with the ICT sector emerging as the fastest growing sector in the Nigeria, recording a 30 per cent year-on-year growth, ICT has the potential to significantly contribute to increasing the social welfare of women.

The Minister emphasized the transformative power of ICTs to accelerate the development of women by helping them to be more efficient and effective in their jobs, careers, and business and to generate new employment opportunities. She said that ICT has unlimited potential to significantly contribute to increasing the social welfare of women.

The ministry also has two other programs –The Digital Girls Clubs and SmartWoman Nigeria program --all geared at empowering women and Girls in Nigeria. Oluwakemi Koretimi, a beneficiary of the 1000 Girls Training program, expressed satisfaction with the knowledge in ICT she has gained during the training exercise. She said that before she joined the program, she thought ICT was difficult and obscure and that only men operated and excelled in that field.

(Source: Nigerian Newspaper)

Monday, August 11, 2014 9:33:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 04, 2014


The UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has announced a strategic partnership with the private sector to deliver e-learning programmes in Kenya to thousands of marginalized girls.

Project iMlango is an e-learning partnership, led by satellite operator Avanti Communications and its partners: the smartcard and digital payments system provider, sQuid; online maths tutoring provider, Whizz Education; and technology NGO, Camara Education. The integrated programme aims to improve learning outcomes for 25,675 marginalied girls, across 195 Kenyan primary schools.

Project iMlango addresses the cultural and financial issues that can lead to reduced school attendance and drop outs, with electronic attendance monitoring and conditional payments to families. At the programme’s core sits an internet learning platform, accessed via satellite broadband connectivity, where partners provide students with interactive, individualized learning tools.

According to the project lead, Project iMlango delivers:

- High-speed satellite broadband connectivity to schools;
- Personalized maths tuition with a virtual online tutor, alongside digital learning content for maths, literacy and life skills;
- Tuition and support to teachers to use ICT in their teaching;
- Electronic attendance monitoring with conditional payments – to incentivise families to send their daughters to school – for use with local merchants;
- In-field capacity in IT, technology and support resources;
Real-time project monitoring and measurement;

(Source: IT News Africa)

Monday, August 04, 2014 9:24:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


It is important to show some of the most significant scholarly contributions to knowledge and action towards expanding women’s participation in all communication platforms. The publication proposes a pragmatic research agenda for the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG), looking back, building on the past and looking to the future.

This volume is divided into four main sections: 1) Gender-based violence, media and information; 2) Women’s access to media; 3) Gender and media policy and strategies; 4) Gender, education, and media and information literacy. The authors are all experts on the advancement of gender equality. Moreover, they have been involved in both scholarly and advocacy actions with visible impact at global, regional and national levels. UNESCO is pleased to have cooperated with the International Association of Communication Researchers in the preparation of this publication.

Download full text here


More information

Monday, August 04, 2014 9:18:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The first ever Pan-African Women in Tech meet up will take place as a virtual event in August, supported by simultaneous live viewing events in Uganda, South Africa and Ghana.

Organized by Women in Tech Ghana, Women in Tech Zambia, Women in Tech Uganda, and Girls in ICT Rwanda, the event aims to bring together women working in technology across the continent. The organizers note that “some Women in Technology clubs exist already but, to date, no one has attempted to build a pan-African network, allowing us to compare our challenges, learn from other countries and connect across borders to expand our influence”.

They elaborated: “Working in technology can, at times, be an isolating experience for women, especially in Africa. The impact of this can limit women’s professional growth in the sector. Women need mentors, role models and a network to share their experiences, challenges and skills”.

The meet up will be held on 2 August 2014, at 12pm GMT, 2pm CAT, 3pm EAT.

Register for live stream event or viewing parties at https://womentechafrica.wordpress.com

(Further details)

Monday, August 04, 2014 8:57:58 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 21, 2014


The Deputy Director of the British Department for International Development in Ghana (DfID-Ghana), Ms. Charlotte Pierce, has pledged the commitment of DfID to working with the Government of Ghana to give all young people the opportunity of good quality education.

Ms. Pierce said DfID was currently helping 120,000 girls, who had dropped out of school in Ghana, to return to primary school and over 80,000 disadvantaged girls to complete their secondary education. She disclosed that in pursuit of its goal of helping more young people, particularly girls, to be in school, the British Government launched a programme dubbed ‘The Girls Education Challenge,’ under which one million girls across the globe are to go to school and learn.

Ms. Pierce spoke at the launch of Ghana’s first interactive distance-learning project, Making Ghanaian Girls Great! (MGCubed), at Prampram in the Greater Accra region. Ms. Pierce said MGCubed received funding under the (DfID)’s Girls' Education Challenge (GEC) programme to help it address the challenges of teacher quality, teacher absenteeism and poor student learning by equipping two classrooms in every school with solar-powered computers and projectors through which real-time, two-way interactive distance lessons could occur. She urged all stakeholders including parents, head teachers, district, community and traditional leaders, school children and the staff of project implementation and partner organizations to work together for the success of the project.

In an address, Dr. Gordon Carver, MGCubed Project Director, said the project was an attempt to use technology to achieve certain simple educational goals of attracting girls and boys to come to a classroom and learn relevant material through engaging activities, guided by a well-trained teacher.
Dr. Carver also stressed the need for partnership and collaboration among stakeholders to make the project a success.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Monday, July 21, 2014 9:21:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, July 14, 2014



This is an annual special achievement award for outstanding performers and role models in Gender Equality and mainstreaming in the area of ICTs. Please note that this award is applicable for both women and men.
This is a ITU-UN Women Joint Award.

Background:
Women’s digital empowerment and their full participation in the information society is one of ITU’s key objectives. The 2010 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference strengthened Resolution 70 (Rev. Guadalajara, 2010) on “gender mainstreaming in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and communication technologies” and subsequently, the ITU Council, at its 2013 session, adopted the ITU Gender Equality and Mainstreaming (GEM) policy. 

To promote this policy, and recognize and reward ITU members and other Stakeholders who are leading the way in using ICTs to expand opportunities for women and girls, Secretary General has launched the annual GEM-TECH Awards, which will be conferred for the first time at the 2014 ITU Plenipotentiary Conference (PP-14) in Busan, Republic of Korea in partnership with UN Women and will inter alia celebrate and commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and its impending implementation review in 2015.

The first ITU-UN Women GEM-TECH Awards will be awarded in seven categories covering crucial topics of gender equality and mainstreaming in and through ICTs, and are open to all stakeholders working in related areas.

1) Objective: 
The ITU - UN Women GEM-TECH Award will demonstrate a commitment to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment through ICTs.

2) Format:
Open call to all Stakeholders working in the ICT Landscape.

3)Stakeholders Eligible to Apply for the Awards
Governments 
Private Sector
Civil Society
International Organizations
Academia

4) Award Categories – 7 Categories

1.ICT Applications, Content, Production Capacities and Skills for Women’s Social, Political Empowerment and Women’s Empowerment Linkages with Sustainable Development.
2.ICT Applications, Content, Production Capacities and Skills for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Poverty Reduction.
3.Promoting Women in ICT Sector - initiatives aimed at attracting, retaining and promoting women within the ICT sector and into decision-making positions (private and public sector).
4.Enabling Girls to Become ICT Creators - initiatives aimed towards providing girls with an opportunity to become not just active users but also creators of ICTs and content.
5.Closing the ICT Gender Gap - Ensuring ICT accessibility for women, such as digital literacy training and ensuring affordable and meaningful access to ICTs by women. Initiatives aimed at measuring the ICT gender gap including research and data on women’s engagement with ICTs and their impact.
6.Efforts to Reduce Threats Online and Building Women’s Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs.
7.ICT and Broadband strategies policies, framework that promote women’s digital empowerment.

5) Timeline

STAGE I: 5 July : Launch of  the Award
STAGE II: 5 July- 5 September -Nomination stage (This award is open to Organizations and Individuals. Please note that self-nominations are welcome)
Propose a nominee here: http://www.itu.int/en/action/women/gem/Pages/award.aspx
STAGE III:  5 September- 5 October- Selection stage
STAGE IV:  21st October Announced at the PP-14

More details

Monday, July 14, 2014 7:02:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, July 09, 2014
The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) today announced a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) America Commitment to Action, valued at $3.71 million dollars, to engage 10,000 middle school girls in learning computing concepts. The announcement was made at the CGI America meeting in Denver.

NCWIT’s Commitment to Action will scale the successfully piloted NCWIT AspireIT initiative, which enlists technical high school or college women in designing and leading computing programs for younger girls. This innovative “near-peer” approach allows young women to become role models and build leadership skills while encouraging younger girls to pursue computing.

"This initiative was born from young women’s enthusiasm for technology and desire to pay it forward,” said Ruthe Farmer, Chief Strategy & Growth Officer of NCWIT. "Who better to invite girls to explore and experiment with technology, than the young women they look up to and aspire to be like? NCWIT AspireIT provides the national infrastructure needed to harness this energy and rapidly bridge the computing education gap for thousands of girls nationwide”.

Research shows that peer influences can have a positive effect on girls’ plans to pursue computing. “Near-peer” role models serve as real-life examples of other girls interested in technology and computing while reducing the effects of stereotype threat – reduced confidence and performance when one is reminded of gender stereotypes, such as “girls are not good at math or technology”. Find out more with NCWIT’s Girls in IT: the Facts (www.ncwit.org/thefactsgirls) report.

"Not only has leading an AspireIT program been a tremendous benefit for the students but I have also learned to challenge myself to take charge and inspire the girls through my love of technology,” shared Noor Muyhi, a computer science student at New Mexico State University and an NCWIT AspireIT Program Leader. “My goal is for every girl in the program to feel 110% supported and to leave the camp with a spark of curiosity towards technology fields".

The NCWIT AspireIT pilot has launched 70 programs, providing an estimated 115,000 hours of computing education to over 2,000 girls in 23 states. To fulfill the CGI Commitment NCWIT will engage 600 high school and college members of the NCWIT Aspirations in Computing program and 250 partner organizations to co-create and deliver 400 computing-focused after-school programs for middle school girls across the country through 2018. Find out more at www.ncwit.org/aspireit.

Commitment partners include the Intel Foundation, which provided the initial startup funding for NCWIT AspireIT and has made a long-term investment in scaling the program, with additional support from Google, the Northrop Grumman Foundation, Microsoft, Sphero, the UC Irvine Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, and Tata Consultancy Services. Partners provide financial support, technical assistance, hardware and software, curricula, and volunteers to work locally with the programs.

Further details

Wednesday, July 09, 2014 12:39:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Saturday, June 14, 2014


Announced at the World Economic Forum recently, Intel is partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation to further the She Will Connect initiative which aims to promote women in Africa and eventually other emerging markets’ tech scene.

A recent Women and the Web report suggested that, in developing countries, there are 25% fewer women than men online. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the gap rises to 43%. In light of this discovery, Intel launched the She Will Connect programme last year September which will aim to give women greater opportunities in this space.

The initiative strives to halve the digital gender gap in Africa, by empowering five million women through digital literacy programs, with initial pilots in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and Zambia.

According to general manager of the Intel World Ahead Program, John Davies, “Technology in general and the internet in particular, has transformed the lives of billions of people. It opens up opportunities and possibilities that never could have been realized before. But women and girls are being left behind – which is why we are investing alongside other organizations to close the gap through Intel She Will Connect”.

As reported by CIO, this recent partnership will further help people from the She Will Connect programme with employment opportunities. Rockefeller Foundation Africa’s managing director, Mamadou Biteye, further explains the philanthropic foundation’s role.

The partnership with The Rockefeller Foundation will seek to connect those trained through the program to employment opportunities. Mamadou Biteye, Managing Director of the Rockefeller Foundation’s Africa Regional Office elaborated on the Foundation’s role:

“We will work together with Intel to connect high potential but disadvantaged young women in our target African countries to online jobs through tools and training that will provide them with best practice guides to assist them in successfully accessing online jobs, earn an income and build their skills and digital work experience”.

Launched in 2013, Digital Jobs Africa is an initiative by Rockefeller Foundation that seeks to connect disadvantaged youth to jobs in the digital economy. “We will seek out more partnerships with pioneering private sector players who have a shared vision around addressing the youth employment challenge”, concludes Biteye.

(Source: Ventureburn)

Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:45:24 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


In 2008, UNDP’s ICT Trust Fund —established with the Egyptian Ministry of Communication and Information Technology—joined forces with the World Health Organization, Vodafone Foundation and the Siwa Community Development and Environment Conservation Association to launch an initiative aimed at both eradicating female illiteracy and helping women to find new or better employment.

In addition to teaching 8,800 women how to read and write, the initiative is providing women skills and materials needed to take control of their lives. For example, the programme put a special emphasis on computer skills, so in addition to providing training in business development and problem solving, it equipped the participants with their own personal computers.

As a result, women enrolled in the programme learned to read and write, improved their agricultural and handicraft production abilities and acquired online marketing skills. Siwa women now promote their products through an online store.

Aware of prevailing social norms in the oasis, programme instructors brought the classes into women’s homes. They transformed the traditional tableya—a low, round, dining table around which rural Egyptians sit cross-legged and eat—into a so-called tabluter. A tabluter is a customized, ergonomic computer embedded in the tableya; the computer hosts a single central processing unit that can run up to four independent computers. The newly tailored tableya is foldable, making it easy to carry around from home to home.

In 2012 alone, the initiative trained 120 women on the device, in addition to 10 more who were taught how to be literacy instructors, ensuring the ongoing life of the project. Fatma Ibrahim was among the first group of women to complete their literacy programme on a tabluter.

The project team is currently training non-governmental organizations (NGOs) around the Siwa governorate to use the tabluter to teach reading and writing. UNDP is also creating a business model for these NGOs so they can offer free literacy classes. UNDP and its partners are preparing to bring the entire initiative to five more oases in Egypt.

(Source: UNDP)

Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:23:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Nearly 20 years ago, the world came together in Beijing for the Fourth World Conference on Women. There, 189 governments adopted a visionary roadmap for gender equality: the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. Some 17,000 participants and 30,000 activists pictured a world where women and girls had equal rights, freedom and opportunity in every sphere of life.

While much progress has been made in the past two decades, no country can claim to have achieved equality between men and women. It is time for the world to come together again for women and girls and complete this journey.

UN Women is launching a year-long campaign to re-energize the vision laid out at the Beijing Women’s Conference. Our goal is straightforward: renewed commitment, strengthened action and increased resources to realize gender equality, women’s empowerment and human rights. We call it: Empowering Women, Empowering Humanity: Picture It!

The Beijing Declaration laid out actions to address 12 critical areas of concern for women and girls across the globe. Governments, the private sector and other partners were urged to reduce women and girls’ poverty, ensure their right to access education and training, safeguard their health – including their sexual and reproductive health, protect women and girls from violence and discrimination, to ensure that technological advances benefit all, and to promote their full and equal participation in society, politics, and the economy.

The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action remains the most comprehensive global agreement on women’s empowerment and gender equality. If only it had been implemented!
Notwithstanding, today we can celebrate progress. More girls are going to school. More women are working, getting elected, and assuming leadership positions. But in all regions of the world, and in all countries, women continue to face discrimination because they are female.

We see it every day. In pay inequity and unequal opportunities at work… in stubbornly low representation of women leaders in the public and private sectors… in the continuing scourge of child marriage, and in the pandemic of violence experienced by one in three women globally – a number greater than the population of Europe.

Perhaps even more startling is the fact that if the Beijing negotiations occurred today, they would likely result in a weaker agreement. We all have a responsibility to keep pushing ahead for full implementation, because every time a woman or girl is held back by discrimination or violence, humanity loses.

Since the Beijing Conference, irrefutable evidence has accumulated showing that empowering women empowers humanity.

Further details

Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:18:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 16, 2014


Telecentre Academy (TCA), the capacity building arm of Telecentre.org Foundation, will soon be launching a new course entitled “Women, Entrepreneurship and ICTs”. Designed specifically for women with an enterprising spirit and an idea of what they want to start, the course seeks to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills in entrepreneurship and encourage them to pursue entrepreneurial activities.

Recognizing the gap between training initiatives focused on the use of ICT tools in the enterprise world and those full blown business administration courses that take much longer to complete, TCA developed its latest course offering in an effort to bridge this particular gap.

The course, which will delve into the practical aspects of starting a business, will be made available in English and Spanish and is expected to kick off in June in Europe and Africa. It will run for a period of 8 weeks or a total of 40 work hours. A self-directed and collaborative learning approach will be employed where the participants themselves will set their learning goals and link them to their enterprising activities. A tutor will be on hand to facilitate the learning process and guide them through the training and exercises.

All participants who will successfully complete the course will obtain a corresponding certificate from TCA. Through this course which was developed in collaboration with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), TCA also hopes to build a community of practice where people who have taken the course can exchange knowledge, experiences, resources and good practices.

TCA will be offering the course for a minimal fee, the rate of which may vary per country. Some scholarships and discounts may be awarded depending on local demand.
Interested in partnering with TCA and introducing this entrepreneurship course to your network? Don’t hesitate to contact the TCA team.

Further information

Friday, May 16, 2014 7:01:13 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Cisco is on a mission to make Kenyan girls embrace ICT careers and be part of the ever growing sector of the economy.

This comes amid reports by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) that the number of school girls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide.

Cisco hopes to join ITU to champion the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls. The company recently hosted a ‘Girls in ICT Day’ for girls aged between 14-18 to hear about the vital role that ICT plays in employability today and how the Internet of Everything will create the jobs of tomorrow.

“Cisco has been involved in ‘Girls in ICT Day’ since it started four years ago. We understand the value of a diverse workforce, and believe that many more girls would pursue careers in ICT if they were better informed about the many different types of jobs available within the sector’, said Hital Muraj, Corporate Affairs Manager, East and Central Southern Africa.

The 26 girls from various institutions were mentored by representatives from from Global Peace Foundation, Safaricom and UNESCO, and encouraged to embrace ICT careers and reap from the male-dominated sector.

The Girls in ICT Day is an annual day of activities organized by the International Telecommunications Union aimed at improving the understanding of careers in ICT among girls.

To help inspire girls to consider a future in technology, ITU established the ‘Girls in ICT Day’ back in 2010 and supports the global organization of activities every year on the fourth Thursday in April. Currently in its 4th year, global momentum around Girls in ICT Day continues to grow with over 100 countries touted to hold events hosted by governments, private sector and NGOs in 2014.

This year Cisco will be hosting 2,500 girls at almost 80 of their offices worldwide and across 37 countries in EMEAR giving them the opportunity to network with each other and other role models to inspire them to consider an IT career.

During their visit to Cisco, students will be able to experience and engage with Cisco’s technologies for themselves, including collaboration platforms such as TelePresence and Jabber.

These platforms will enable interaction on the day and beyond with other Girls participating across the globe and of the leading women working within Cisco and its partners and customers.

“By 2020 there will be approximately 50 billion objects connected to the Internet. At its essence, the Internet of Everything is the networked connection of people, process, data and things…and is set to create an unprecedented level of disruption across industries, globally”, said Muraj.

(Source: Biztech Africa)

Friday, May 16, 2014 6:45:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 08, 2014
CWIT Funds Computing Outreach Programs for Girls Nationwide.

The National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) announced the 2014 program sites for NCWIT Aspire IT –- a national technology education initiative for middle school girls, supported by Intel, Northrop Grumman, and Google.

In 2014, NCWIT AspireIT will serve more than 1,300 middle school girls with over 50,000 instruction hours in computing and technology during workshops, after-school programs, and summer camps. NCWIT AspireIT capitalizes on a "near-peer", hands-on approach. Middle school girls learn programming, game design, robotics, e-textiles and more through programs created and led by young women in high school and college. NCWIT granted $123,500 to 46 local programs across 19 states focused on inspiring middle school girls to consider careers in technology.

"Our Aspirations in Computing community has thousands of tech-savvy young women who want to share their passions for technology with the next generation,” said Jennifer Manning, NCWIT AspireIT Manager. “They make wonderful role models, connecting and inspiring middle school girls in ways that adults can’t”.

NCWIT AspireIT is a component of NCWIT Aspirations in Computing, a talent development initiative designed to increase female participation in technology by providing structured, long-term engagement and support from middle school through high school and from college into the workforce. Find out more at http://www.aspirations.org.

(Source: NCWIT)

Thursday, May 08, 2014 10:10:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


UNESCO literacy project for girls and women in Senegal (PAJEF) is becoming an attraction. Its innovative teaching methods and approaches have grabbed the attention of other countries, which also struggle with high illiteracy rates. This week (30 April–2 May 2014) 14 policy-makers and education specialists from Nigeria are in Dakar, the Senegalese capital, to learn more about the PAJEF experience.

Last month, a delegation from the Gambia came on a study visit, which generated interest from a number of countries, including Pakistan and Namibia.

The PAJEF literacy project has successfully implemented literacy courses through mobile phones, computers, the internet and television, which, coupled with vocational skills training, have proven effective in reaching out to illiterate women. It is a partnership between the Senegalese government, UNESCO and the multinational private sector company Procter&Gamble.

Launched in January 2012, the project aims to improve access to education for 40,000 neo-literate and illiterate women aged 15-55 years in Senegal before it ends in June 2014. Based on the success of the project in Senegal, a similar literacy project was launched in Nigeria in March 2014.

South-south cooperation
The Nigeria project seeks to accelerate and underpin national efforts to achieve Education for All. The aim is to benefit 60,000 girls and women in the Federal Capital Territory and Rivers State within the next three years.

The Nigerian delegation will visit literacy and tutoring classes, where adolescent girls are strengthening their literacy skills through vocational training. They will also visit a virtual class where girls and women are using learning application accessible through mobile phones and computers. They will experience the digital blackboard, the so-called ‘Sankoré kit’, which has been installed in all classrooms used for the PAJEF project since the end of 2013.

The delegation will have the opportunity to get familiar with the educational radio and television structure within the Senegalese Ministry of Education. They will also learn about the popular TV programme Diek ak-Keureum, which is delivering literacy courses specifically designed for a female audience and broadcasted during daytime on national TV.

Education transforms lives
Educated girls and young women are more likely to know their rights and to have the confidence to claim them. In the words of UNESCO's Director-General, Irina Bokova: “Girls education is a development multiplier and one of the most powerful transformational forces we have to build peace and social inclusion”.

In 2011, UNESCO launched “Better Life, Better Future”, a global partnership for girls’ and women’s education, which addresses two main areas requiring more attention – secondary education and adult literacy. It introduces programmes aimed at stemming the drop-out of adolescent girls in the transition from primary to secondary education and in lower secondary schools, as well as focuses on scaling up women’s literacy programmes through stronger advocacy and partnerships.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, May 08, 2014 9:14:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
International Girls in ICT Day was again sponsored by International Telecommunications Union on the fourth Thursday of April (which this year turned out to be 4/24/14). The initiative, launched by ITU with the purpose of raising awareness of the importance of involving girls in ICT fields, aims to promote the benefits that ICT careers may offer.

In 2012, many African nations celebrated International Girls In ICT Day. Organizations in at least 16 African nations participated the following year. This year, we note roughly the same number of events. Also, it is worth noting that we have observed more female-oriented African tech events during the course of the year – a testament to the lasting success of the official Girls in ICT Day.

By our count, at least 13 African countries held or will hold a gathering this month to get girls excited about ICT. Most events directly aimed to encourage girls to pursue careers in ICT.

Cameroon: Girls in Tech Cameroon celebrated in Yaounde, with an emphasis on professionalism.

Congo-Brazzaville: Femtic Congo, with the support of the telecoms regulator ARPCE, celebrated with a series of panels on ICT and employment.

Cote d’Ivoire: The Ministry of Posts and ICT (along with the Ministry of Solidarity, Family, Women, and Children) hosted an event with the organization Femmes & TIC.

 
 
Ethiopia: International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with Africa Union Commission, UNECA, UNDP, UN Women, other UN Agencies and the private sector held an event in Addis Ababa.

The Gambia: Girls in ICT Gambia held a logo design competition and school debate on the importance of ICTs.

Ghana: The Ministry of Communications, with the assistance from other ministries, held an event in Koforidua (Eastern region).

Kenya: AkiraChix, for the second time, hosted a day-long event at iHub Nairobi for high school and university girls interested in ICT. Successful female entrepreneurs were on hand to share their experiences.

Liberia: The Ministry of Gender and Development held an event where iLab Liberia, among others, gave a presentation.

South Africa: Intel Africa and Girls Invent held a coding session for girls.

Uganda: The Commonwealth Peoples’ Association of Uganda, supported by the Government of Uganda, held an ICT-themed debate on April 9th.

Other posts, videos, and anecdotes about how African girls are utilizing technology were also shared under the hashtag #GirlsinICT.

Just because the official Girls in ICT Day is over doesn’t mean that we should forget about strengthening the involvement of girls in ICT! In Africa, girls generally have less access to a formal education, let alone one involving the latest technology. Providing girls with access to ICT (and role models to foster their passions) is vital if African nations are to become information-based societies.

(Source: Oafrica)

Thursday, May 08, 2014 4:07:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 30, 2014


UNESCO has published a report explaining how mobile technology is used to facilitate reading and improve literacy in developing countries. The report was published  on 23 April, on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day.

The report, Reading in the Mobile Era, highlights that hundreds of thousands of people currently use mobile technology as a portal to text. Findings show that in countries where illiteracy rates are high and physical text is scarce, large numbers of people read full-length books and stories on rudimentary small screen devices.

The report, the first-ever study of mobile readers in developing countries, provides valuable information about how mobile reading is practiced today and by whom.
Worldwide 774 million people, including 123 million youth, cannot read or write and illiteracy can often be traced to the lack of books. Most people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not own a single book, and schools in this region rarely provide textbooks to learners.

Yet the report cites data showing that where books are scarce, mobile technology is increasingly common, even in areas of extreme poverty. The International Telecommunication Union estimates that of the 7 billion people on Earth, 6 billion have access to a working mobile phone.

 Video: Interview with Mark West, one of the authors of the report

UNESCO’s study of mobile reading was conducted in seven developing countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Drawing on the analysis of over 4,000 surveys and corresponding qualitative interviews, the study found that:

- large numbers of people (one third of study participants) read stories to children from mobile phones;
- females read far more on mobile devices than males (almost six times as much according to the study);
- both men and women read more cumulatively when they start reading on a mobile device;
- many neo- and semi-literate people use their mobile phones to search for text that is appropriate to their reading ability.

The study is intended as a roadmap for governments, organizations and individuals who wish to use mobile technology to help spread reading and literacy. The report recommends improving the diversity of mobile reading content to appeal to specific target groups such as parents and teachers; initiating outreach and trainings to help people transform mobile phones into portals to reading material; and lowering costs and technology barriers to mobile reading.

(Source: UNESCO)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:41:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Omobola Johnson, Nigeria’s minister of communication technology, has inaugurated Digital Girls Clubs in 12 federal government girls Schools across the country, which she said was aimed at empowering Nigerian girls and encouraging them to embrace careers in ICT.

The 12 pilots will impact 1,200 girls, with the clubs later set to be launched across all federal colleges, offering a curriculum teaching girls relevant technology skills.

“The Digital Girls Club is part of the Girls and Women initiative of the federal government geared at empowering Nigerian women and girls”, Johnson said. “The administration of President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan in a bid to empower women and girls in Nigeria created a gender empowerment scheme titled Girls and Women in Nigeria (G-WIN) with the sole aim of positively impacting and improving the lot of women and girls in Nigeria”.

She said Nigeria needed to increase the participation of females in ICT. “Getting more girls into ICTs is a task we are committed to at the Ministry of Communication Technology. We want to ensure that Nigerian girls are encouraged and empowered to embrace ICTs. It is critical to get girls to adopt ICTs so that they are not left behind in the digital revolution changing communities and nations across the globe”, she said.

“Our desire is that the Digital Girls ICT Clubs will empower Nigerian girls and lead to the development of an army of ICT compliant girls that will contribute to the economic growth and empowerment of Nigeria in the future”.

An online platform was also launched to serve as a tool for stimulating and empowering girls to embrace and adopt ICTs. “ICTs are powerful transformative tools that foster development and advancement of economies – whether developing or advanced. It is a useful tool for bridging the digital divide in most economies”, Johnson said.

“It also plays a crucial role in the socio-economic empowerment and development of communities and nations across the globe. It is the bedrock of development and the leveraging of this critical tool not only helps us create wealth and jobs, but it also enables development at all levels – health, agriculture, education”. She said the Ministry of Communication Technology was working hard to ensure Nigeria leverages the power of ICT to transition to a knowledge-based economy.

(Source: Humanipo)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:37:55 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
London Schoolgirls Build Mobile Apps in Tech City on Girls in ICT Day

The GSMA hosted an interactive app building workshop to celebrate Girls in ICT Day, the ITU’s annual global initiative to empower and encourage young women to consider studies and careers in ICT. A class of 13-year-old schoolgirls from east London school Bethnal Green Academy visited creative hub BL-NK in London’s Tech City to gain perspectives and insights from four successful women in technology and to build their own mobile apps.

Speakers at the event included:
- Maria Molina, Principal, Communications, Media & Technology, AT Kearney
- Ranwa Sarkis, Head of Sales Operations, Facebook
- Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA
- Lucy Paine, Junior Project Manager, Telefónica

Each speaker shared their personal experiences and offer words of advice to inspire the young female audience, a number of whom have yet to decide on their GCSE subjects. Members of the GSMA will also work with groups of students to mentor them for the day and share their own personal insights and experiences of working in the mobile industry. The aim of the event was to encourage these students to consider taking STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) subjects and to explore the exciting and varied career opportunities in technology.

“There is much more to be done to encourage girls to pursue learning in subjects such as engineering and computer science, which open up possibilities of working in exciting careers in technology,” said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “Mobile is a particularly dynamic and vibrant area right now and it can also open up career opportunities across a range of industry sectors, for example, creating connected cars, advancing mobile commerce or even designing the master plan for a smart city. We are delighted to support the ITU’s Girls in ICT Day to help develop those critical science, technology and math skills that can serve as a foundation for a variety of careers”.

“I warmly welcome the GSMA’s Connected Women initiative to help close the ICT skills gender gap and attract and retain female talent in the mobile industry. The continued growth and development of vital tech skills and expertise in London and our major cities will ensure the future of the UK digital success story,” said Joanna Shields OBE, Chairman of Tech City UK and UK Ambassador for Digital Industries. “Digital innovation is helping us reimagine entire industries, generate economic growth and create new jobs. I hope that today’s app workshop in Tech City will inspire local schoolgirls to study STEM subjects as foundation for future, exciting careers in the technology sector”.

A range of apps will be developed by the schoolgirls:

- Beat the Bullies – resources and videos to help children who are being bullied or who think their friends are in trouble
- Local Lowdown – activities to do in their local area including shops, socialising and maps
- My Digital Hero – pick someone they look up to (anyone from Lady Gaga to Emma Watson) and create an app dedicated to her, featuring videos, quotes and pictures
- Top Tech Tips – create a set of tips and tricks for new users of a specific technology (e.g. Facebook, iPhone)

The Connected Women programme is focused on creating global awareness of the business case for greater involvement of women in the mobile industry and to motivate the sector to take positive action. In addition to that workshop, the Connected Women programme has hosted other successful events in Barcelona, London, New York and Shanghai. To find out more about the GSMA Connected Women initiative, visit www.gsma.com/events/connected-women

(Source: GSMA)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:24:41 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Every year, the fourth Thursday in April is celebrated as International Girls In ICT Day, when a spotlight is put on encouraging and mentoring girls and young women to pursue careers in ICT. The day is set aside for events, workshops and classes to be held around the world under the International Girls In ICT Day banner.

In South Africa there’s been a few events, most notably at Intel’s Woodmead offices in Joburg where we dropped by to look in on the Girls Invent Tomorrow again as they hosted a coding workshop for a group of 20 senior high school girls in grades 10 to 12 from Westbury Secondary School.

Each one of these girls has chosen school subjects that fall within STEM, with a handful of them wanting to go into tech and programming in the near future.

The room is filled with excitement and eagerness as the girls are introduced to the basics of coding through a step-by-step tutorial using a coding program called Alice. Their “lecturer” for the day is Lebohang Modise, a developer from Microsoft who offeres talks and coding workshops across the country to young people.

“I’m here today to inspire these young girls to consider going into coding or any ICT related career because there aren’t many females in the industry”, Modise says. “I try to prepare them by telling them about my own experiences because I went into varsity only knowing the dictionary meaning of coding, had I known about programs such as Alice and how to use it, I would’ve been better prepared. So I think we may have started something here and if these girls can continue with this, it would be a plus”.

“Today’s event is about getting girls to understand what coding is about, because the world is changing and being a programmer is becoming a big thing,” explains Thuli Sibeko, co-founder of Girls Invent Tomorrow. “This is the first coding workshop we’re hosting for high school girls, we work with a certain company to identify girls from grade 10 to 12 in certain schools who are interested in STEM. The reason we are hosting these workshops is that we want to expose young girls to other careers and make them see that careers are not just about being a doctor, lawyer, nurse aand so on. The world is their oyster in terms of technology and we don’t want them to limit themselves in terms of what they choose when they leave school”.

Source: htxt Africa)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 4:14:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


A fun, FREE, interactive IT Career Showcase for Secondary School Girls Years 8 to 11.
3 and 4 June 2014
Location: Deakin University, 221 Burwood Highway, Burwood

The Go Girl Go for IT expo aims to encourage girls to take up careers in ICT – it brings together female role-models who work in a vast number of industries – from banking to television, multimedia to medicine, and much more. Speakers at the event will show that ICT careers for women are viable, enjoyable, global, and rewarding.

What will happen at the Go Girl event?
At Go Girl 2014, students will hear from and have the opportunity to talk to talented and inspirational role models with IT careers. There will be access to a wealth of information that will assist students in making informed IT career decisions.
The program includes a series of interactive presentations, and features a tradeshow where girls can talk in person to company representatives. Lunch is provided with entertainment.

Who should attend?
The event is open to all high school girls from years 8 to 11. We encourage all students to attend, regardless of the subjects they are currently studying.
It is also recommended that the following teachers/advisors attend:
 - Year 8, 9,10 and 11 Year Advisors
- Careers Advisors
- IT Teachers
- Business Teachers

Attendance at this event is free.
Visit www.gogirl.org.au for more information and to register

(Source:vicICTforwomen)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 2:52:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações

 

24th April 2014

Girls in ICT Day, an initiative backed by ITU Member States in ITU Resolution 70, will be celebrated this year on April 24th. The main goal is to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

Portugal is joining these celebrations again by carrying out two initiatives at Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações | Museu das Comunicações:

- March and April - a school and university contest about ICT issues will take place at FPC | MC (What is the impact of the digital revolution for the professions in the future? Is it important to increase the number of women working in the ICT sector?)

- 24th April - a roundtable debate with the participation of women connected to the ICTs industry, the announcement of the school competition winners and the delivery of the prizes.

For more information see the following websites: Portuguese version of the site | ITU

(Source: FPC)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 10:17:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Last week, World Pulse, a partner of Telecentre.org Foundation, launched the second of three phases of its Women Weave the Web Campaign. After Digital Access which was the main focus in Phase 1, Digital Literacy now takes center stage in Phase 2.

What tools would you like to have access to in order to feel more comfortable online? What challenges did you face when learning to use the web? These are but some of the questions that Phase 2 of the campaign hopes to find the answers to. It is all about the tools, resources, and training that women need to espouse the Internet and truly take advantage of its benefits.

How to Participate
To participate, simply write in your journal and share your experience on digital literacy. World Pulse will then analyze your recommendations and deliver them to key decision makers, including government officials and technology companies! For more details on participation, read How to Participate.

Resources, Resources, and more Resources!
Digital literacy starts with tools, trainings, and resources, so World Pulse and its partners, to include TCF, have joined forces to bring you some great ones! Check out the Campaign Resources section where you can learn and share information on digital tools!

In this phase of the campaign, TCF lends its support through the provision of its free training and certification on Google tools. Learn more about this here.

For more information about the campaign, check out the World Pulse website.

(Source: Telecentre.org)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:16:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The use of computers, mobile phones and other ICTs in community banking can assist microfinance institutions and credit officers in managing and recording loan payments, savings deposits and improving bookkeeping accuracy. But the potential of ICT solutions to improve the lives of rural women in Peru goes beyond giving them access to loans.

ICT-enabled solutions can assist microfinance institutions and community banks to set up skill training and adult education programmes that best address their need to train and advise their clients, not only to increase their chances of managing profitable businesses but also to improve their quality of life.

In Peru, the Connect4Change consortium led by IICD has developed together with PROMUC and Text to Change, an integral ICT-enabled solution that in 2013 serviced 21,000 women and aims to reach out to 160,000. Since most of the impoverished women benefitted by group-lending live in rural or semi-urban areas, they need training to learn the basics of financial services. The Connect4Change capacity development programme includes sessions about best practices in small business management, business plan development, insurances and over-indebtedness.

The ICT-supported community banking project uses mobile phones to send information about group meetings, financial products, credits, interest rates, late payments and loan payment reminders. Iin additions, they also receive information about best practices in managing funds and working capital to start off their own businesses.

Further details

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 9:09:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, April 01, 2014
The Conference provided opinion-leaders and decision-makers worldwide with a sense of outstanding best-practices on accessibility – the Innovative Practices and Innovative Policies as selected by the Zero Project network of hundreds of experts – and their potential to make the world more accessible.

Let’s continue…
To jointly continue the good work, let us take this opportunity to encourage you to make use of the Zero Project Website where you can find a lot of additional information from the Conference on accessibility: All presentations are online and free to download. Also a lot of pictures from the Conference can be found here.

But there is a lot more on the website. All selected 54 Innovative Practices and 15 Innovative Policies 2014 on accessibility have been uploaded barrier-free to the website and can be fully searched by keywords, countries or tags. In addition to that, all shortlisted Practices that did not make it into the final selection have been researched by students team from Fachhochschule St. Pölten and are now online and fully searchable – another interesting set of more than 70 best-practices on accessibility worldwide!
And there is still more…

Find the full Zero Project Report 2014 and the Zero Project Worldmaps ready for download, as well as all 32 social indicators that measure the implementation of the UN CRPD in 130 countries. “Drill down” the data on the online map and find also all comments made by experts, and use Google Translate to translate it into your language. And you can download all the social indicators “raw data” as open source to start your own research. Please feel free to contribute to the research and include your own answers and spread the word to others that may want to fill in the questionnaires!

Watch here the Zero Project Video

(Source: Zero Project Website)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 12:21:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year. This year, it will be celebrated on the 24th of April.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI) as the authority in charge of pushing the nation's overall ICT agenda has identified members of the public and private sector whose input would be highly beneficial in highlighting the strides our country has made thus far in promoting the girls and young women ICT agenda."As this initiative is under our purview, it is important we play our mandated role to spearhead an extensive campaign in empowering our girls and young women in the important role ICT stands to play in their lives. We want to engage them to embrace math and science, in order to be game changers in our sector. As natural managers, women involvement in all sectors of the economy is critical in its success", Said, Madam Nancy Niang, The Permanent Secretary of MOICI.

International Girls in ICT Day is an initiative backed by ITU Member States in ITU Plenipotentiary Resolution 70 (Guadalajara, 2010) to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs). International Girls in ICT Day is celebrated on the 4th Thursday in April every year. This year, it will be celebrated on the 24th of April.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI) as the authority in charge of pushing the nation's overall ICT agenda has identified members of the public and private sector whose input would be highly beneficial in highlighting the strides our country has made thus far in promoting the girls and young women ICT agenda."As this initiative is under our purview, it is important we play our mandated role to spearhead an extensive campaign in empowering our girls and young women in the important role ICT stands to play in their lives. We want to engage them to embrace math and science, in order to be game changers in our sector. As natural managers, women involvement in all sectors of the economy is critical in its success", Said, Madam Nancy Niang, The Permanent Secretary of MOICI.

(Source: All Africa)

Tuesday, April 01, 2014 11:45:15 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 24, 2014
Nancy Sibo has been nominated Ms Geek 2014 for her mobile cow application project on Saturday, coinciding with International Women's Day. Ms Geek, which reards ICT projects by women, was organized for the first time in Rwanda.

Nancy Sibo, a student in the Agriculture Engineering faculty at the University of Rwanda Huye campus presented her application called Mobile Cow, an app that could be tied in the government's Gira Inka program to allow farmers monitor the oestrus cycles of cows.

She was chosen among 25 applications of women's initiatives from various higher learning institutes and universities in Rwanda. The second prize winner was Christine Bayizere, a student in Electronics and Electricity Engineering. Her project is a Wireless Black Box that to monitor vehicles and send alerts in case of an accident.

Josephine Tujyimbere came third with the Class Attendance Management System which uses fingerprint recognition to monitor students' progress. Chantal Mukundwa, a Computer Engineering & Information Technology student explained her proposed software, called the Nearby Item Locator System, which is both a web and a mobile application, that allows users to search for items they wish to buy, and receive a list of the nearest shops with those items in stock. She scooped the people's choice award from online voting.

The fifth was Eline Nyirangirimana, an ICT student who developed the Online Driving License Examination System that allows users to save time by taking their driving tests online. According to Akaliza Gara, a member of Girls in ICT, Ms Geek is an opportunity to celebrate the women in ICT and inspire other women to join the sector.

"There is nothing specifically male about ICT, it's something that both men and women can embrace and use to make the most of their career", she said.

Minister of Youth and ICT Jean Philbert Nsengimana indicated that the government through the Smart Rwanda program supports girls in ICT to contribute to the country towards its vision. He pointed out that while women have been economically, socially and politically empowered, the number of women in science and technology is still low. While 64% of the members of the chamber of deputies in Parliament are women, they only represent 16.5% in TVET.

Minister Nsengimana called on women to embrace science, mathematics, engineering and technology. "You are a generation that is going to transform this country and the continent", Nsengimana said.

Giovani Ntabgoba, the director of KLab in Kigali, promised the finalists a working place and mentorship to improve their projects in a suitable business orientation.

(Source: All Africa)

Monday, March 24, 2014 5:39:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, March 11, 2014
ITU celebrates the power of digital literacy to change women’s lives as it reaches target of ‘one million women trained worldwide’

Over one million disadvantaged women in 79 countries around the world are now benefiting from newly-acquired information and communication technology (ICT) skills thanks to a partnership between ITU, the UN specialized agency for ICTs, and Philippines-based NGO Telecentre.org Foundation.

The Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign, launched in 2011 with a target of training one million women around the world, leveraged the combined reach of Telecentre.org Foundation’s global network of 100,000 telecentres worldwide and ITU’s 193 Member States and 700 private sector members.

The campaign reached its goal earlier this month with a total of 1,014,096 women trained in basic computer skills, through the efforts of 153 participating organizations and 20,000 telecentres around the world.

Myrna Padilla spent 20 years living away from her children earning a living as a domestic worker in Hong Kong. Now, back home in the Philippines, she uses her digital literacy skills to run her own graphic design business employing 20 staff – and all her children are getting a college education...watch Myrna talk about the power of technology skills to change a family’s destiny

Obonyo ‘Molly’ Adhiambo couldn’t afford a college degree, and knew her options were limited – until a friend told her of a digital literacy training course being offered by youth-based organization Nairobits Trust…learn what Molly did with her new computer skills

Yulia Korneyeva was 23 when she first learned to use ICTs at a telecentre. But like many young people hit by the economic crisis, she recently found herself out of work – and realized she lacked the proficiency to apply for the positions she wanted. Her future changed when she saw an advertisement for a free course entitled “Advanced Digital Literacy”…find out how Youlia’s training changed her life

“The success of this joint campaign meshes perfectly with this year’s International Women’s Day theme of ‘equality for women is progress for all’, because training in today’s ICT systems is so often change that turns around the lives of unskilled and disadvantaged women and their families”, said ITU Secretary-General Dr Hamadoun I. Touré.
“Having the skills to use ICTs opens up new horizons and empowers women, both economically and culturally. In addition, offering digital skills to over one million women at grassroots level is helping reverse the paradigm whereby, in many countries, ICTs still most often benefit men more than women”.

Recent research by ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau estimates that there are 200 million fewer women online than men. Of the world’s 2.8 billion Internet users, 1.3 billion are women, compared with 1.5 billion men.

While the gap between male and female users is relatively small in OECD nations, it widens rapidly in poorer countries, where expensive, ‘high status’ ICTs like computers are often unaffordable for women at the bottom of the development pyramid. In the developing world overall, 16% fewer women than men are online, with even greater disparities in some regions; in sub-Saharan Africa, for example, ITU estimates that there are only half as many women connected as men.

A report issued last year by the Broadband Commission for Digital Development’s Working Group on Gender, led by UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, revealed that, around the world, women are coming online later and more slowly than men. It also showed that women are on average 21% less likely to own a mobile phone – representing a mobile gender gap of 300 million, equating to US$13 billion in potential missed revenues for the mobile sector.

“With technology now widely recognized as a critical enabler for socio-economic development, the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign has been key in reinforcing ITU’s global efforts to promote the digital inclusion of women in line with Millennium Development Goal 3 on gender equality”, said Brahima Sanou, Director of ITU’s Telecommunication Development Bureau, which initiated and led the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign.

“Partnership is key in any undertaking, and what we have achieved so far under the Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign is a testament to this. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank ITU and all our partners in this campaign for accepting the challenge and for embracing this cause with so much fervour,” said Miguel Raimilla, Executive Director of Telecentre.org Foundation. “We may have already reached our target, but the work doesn’t stop here. There is still so much more to be done out there, and the programme will definitely continue to empower women worldwide through ICT, in the hopes of inspiring change and ultimately bringing about the much needed results”.

The campaign is just one element of ITU’s work in the field of gender empowerment through ICTs. Each year on the fourth Thursday in April, ITU and the global technology community celebrate ‘Girls in ICT Day’, an international awareness-raising initiative launched by ITU in 2010 to promote tech careers to a new generation of girls with an interest in science and maths.

Since its inception in 2010, the day has been gaining huge momentum around the world, with 2,700 events organized in 121 countries for an outreach of more than 70,000 girls and young women. Event organizers are gearing up for a big celebration on 24 April this year: stakeholders are encouraged to contact girlsinict@itu.int to let the ITU team know their plans.

ITU has also developed a range of digital literacy training materials designed to be used in school-based community centres and multi-purpose telecentres by women, indigenous peoples, and persons with disabilities. In addition to providing basic ICT literacy, the materials show trainees how ICTs can be used to support a range of economic activities such as handicrafts, agro-tourism and agriculture. Training materials can be accessed here. Information and toolkits on how to run a local ‘Girls in ICT Day’ are available on the ITU Girls in ICT Portal.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:15:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

In celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, Telecentre.org Foundation (TCF) is happy to announce that, as of January 2014, over 1 million women from different parts of the world have been trained and acquired new ICT skills under its Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign.

The campaign, which kicked off in 2011, is a joint undertaking of TCF and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the UN specialized agency for ICTs. With a total of 1,014,096 women trained, the original 1 million target was surpassed through the combined efforts of 153 participating organizations in 79 countries.

“Partnership is key in any undertaking, and what we have achieved so far under the Telecentre Women Digital Literacy Campaign is a testament to this. I, therefore, take this opportunity to thank ITU and all our partners in this campaign for accepting the challenge and for embracing this cause with so much fervor", says Miguel Raimilla, TCF’s Executive Director. “We may have already reached our target, but the work doesn’t stop here. There is still so much more to be done out there, and the program will definitely continue to empower women worldwide through ICT, in the hopes of inspiring change and ultimately bringing about the much needed results”, he added.

(Source: Telecentre.org)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 3:02:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, 8 March, UNESCO joins forces with international and regional partners to launch the annual Women Make the News (WMN) initiative. This year’s WMN theme is “Advancing Global Partnerships to Achieving Gender Equality in and through Media.” It is closely linked to the International Women’s Day global theme, “Equality for women is progress for all”.

Research has shown that, on average, only 24% of people questioned, seen, heard or read about in the media are women. Only one quarter of board members governing media organizations are women. The media, as champions of freedom of expression and with their function to promote diversity, should treat this imbalance as a threat to the free expression of half the world’s population. Getting more women in the news needs to be a consistent commitment to achieve evolutionary change.
We are calling on our media partners to commit to ensuring that 30% of all experts interviewed in the news are women as a step towards achieving gender equality in editorial content.

Half the world’s population implies fifty percent of the viewership, listenership and readership of the world’s media. Responding to them is a sure business and development model. It is sure progress for media development and indeed sure progress for all. 

Likewise, UNESCO is inviting editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television online and offline to join this initiative, and to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom on International Women’s Day or during the WMN initiative.

The WMN 2014 theme this year is connected to the success of the groundbreaking Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) which was launched during the first Global Forum on Media and Gender which took place in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2 to 4 of December 2013. Through GAMAG, constructive dialogue between media partners and civil society will be strengthened, and all stakeholders can collectively work to give momentum to women's access to expression and decision-making by promoting a gender-inclusive media and communication environment.

Gender equality in all levels of decision making in media and in content involves all and has many dimensions as described in the UNESCO Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media resource. The media civil society, governments, private sector and development organizations can contribute. GAMAG and the WMN 2014 initiative unite all stakeholders to take action. Click here to view WMN website and see more about how you can get involved. Commit to this initiative and help to spread the word.

(Source: UNESCO)

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 1:27:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, March 10, 2014


- Women around the world are more economically excluded than men.
- Social norms affect women’s work by dictating the way they spend their time and undervaluing their potential.
- Legal discrimination is a remarkably common barrier to women’s work.

Women around the world still face huge, persistent gender gaps at work, according to a new report by the World Bank Group, which calls for bold, innovative measures to level the playing field and unleash women’s economic potential.

By virtually every global measure, women are more economically excluded than men, according to Gender at Work. Trends suggest women’s labor force participation worldwide has stagnated over the past 30 years, dropping from 57 to 55 percent globally, despite accumulating evidence that jobs benefit women, families, businesses, and communities.

"The reasons for this will differ from country to country, but we think that the persistence of norms—which means that women don't have as much choice over their livelihoods as men—as well as legal barriers to work are both playing important roles", said Jeni Klugman, World Bank Group Gender and Development Director.

A companion to the 2013 World Development Report on jobs, the report notes that since women face multiple constraints to jobs, starting early and extending throughout their lives, progressive, broad-based, and coordinated policy action is needed to close gender gaps. Common constraints include lack of mobility, time, and skills, exposure to violence, and the absence of basic legal rights.

Gender at Work also finds that legal discrimination is a remarkably common barrier to women’s work. Restrictive laws can hinder women’s ability to access institutions, own or use property, build credit, or get a job. In 15 countries, women still require their husbands’ consent to work.

To address these inequalities, the report recommends governments target actions that cover a woman’s life cycle—saying interventions that focus only on women of productive age start too late and end too early.

“The commitment must begin with fostering girls’ and boys’ skills and aspirations equally from their early years, so it stays with them long enough that they and future generations enjoy a more equitable and prosperous world”, Klugman said.

Gender at Work: 10 Global Facts:
 
• Women’s labor force participation has stagnated, in fact decreasing from 57 percent in 1990 to 55 percent in 2012.
• Women on average earn between 10 and 30 percent less than working men.
• Women are only half as likely as men to have full-time wage jobs for an employer.
• In only five of the 114 countries for which data are available have women reached or surpassed gender parity with men in such occupations as legislators, senior officials, and managers; namely, Colombia, Fiji, Jamaica, Lesotho, and the Philippines.
• Women spend at least twice as much time as men on unpaid domestic work such as caring and housework.
• A total of 128 countries have at least one sex-based legal differentiation, meaning women and men cannot function in the world of work in the same way; in 54 countries, women face five or more legal differences.
• Across developing countries, there is a nine percentage point gap between women and men in having an account at a formal financial institution.
• More than one in three women has experienced either physical or sexual violence by a partner or non-partner sexual violence.
• In 2010-12, 42 countries reported gender gaps in secondary school enrollment rates exceeding 10 percent.
• One in three girls in developing countries is married before reaching her 18th birthday.

(Source: World Bank)

Monday, March 10, 2014 6:12:26 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 25, 2014


The fifty-eighth session of the Commission on the Status of Women will take place at United Nations Headquarters in New York from 10 to 21 March 2014.
Representatives of Member States, UN entities, and ECOSOC - accredited non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from all regions of the world attend the session.

Themes

Priority theme:
Challenges and achievements in the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals for women and girls.
The draft agreed conclusions are now available.

Review theme:
Access and participation of women and girls to education, training, science and technology, including for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work (agreed conclusions from the fifty-fifth session).

Emerging issue
:
Women’s access to productive resources

Organization of the session

In accordance with its multi-year programme of work (ECOSOC resolution 2009/15), the Commission's two-week session includes the following activities:
Organization of work

Further details

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:54:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU commits to empowering women over the air waves

World Radio Day 2014 brings attention to women's empowerment and encourages radio broadcasters to promote access to information, freedom of expression and gender equality over the airwaves.

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “Radio is an effective means of reaching out to people everywhere. By providing information in a timely manner, it empowers people in every corner of the world, in particular women, to meet their goals of sustainable development. Innovations in radio technology, which are under constant development at ITU, will make this medium increasingly relevant”.

13 February marks the day UN Radio was founded in 1946. Today, UN Radio continues to reach millions of people around the world, with daily broadcasts in the six official languages of the United Nations plus Portuguese and Kiswahili. Through partner stations around the globe, via the Internet and through new media, UN Radio highlights the efforts, achievements and challenges of the United Nations in dealing with pressing global issues, such as, sustainable development, peace and security, human rights, humanitarian affairs, and women’s equality and empowerment.

In January 2013, the United Nations General Assembly formally endorsed UNESCO’s proclamation of World Radio Day following a request from the Academia Española de la Radio of Spain.

Radio is an effective medium to reach a wide audience and a very effective communication tool. Radio broadcasts by networks and community radio stations play a very important role in reaching out to people living in remote rural settlements around the world and is particularly indispensable in emergency communication and disaster relief.
“World Radio Day celebrates audio broadcasting and seeks to improve international cooperation among radio broadcasters while encouraging decision-makers to create and provide access to information through radio,” said Mr François Rancy, Director of ITU’s Radiocommunication Bureau. “The occasion draws attention to the unique value of radio, which is currently taking up new technological forms and devices such as digital and online broadcasting”.

The ITU body dealing with the broadcasting service, ITU-R Study Group 6, focuses on worldwide broadcasting roaming and accessibility to these services – which include vision, sound, multimedia and data services intended for delivery to the general public – and plays a leading role in the advances being made in these technologies.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:33:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Download PDF here

Information and communication technologies (ICTs) have been proven to promote economic growth, but do we know that ICTs reduce poverty? This book provides new empirical evidence on access to and use of ICTs and their effect on poor households in four East African countries: Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It addresses the questions: Do women benefit economically from using ICTs? Are the livelihoods of rural users boosted? Which ICTs are being used by low-income entrepreneurs?

ICT Pathways to Poverty Reduction presents a conceptual framework to analyze how the dynamics of poverty change over time and to shed light on whether ICT access benefits the poor as well as the not-so-poor. The chapters contain case studies on how various forms of ICTs affect different aspects of poverty based on research in East and Southern African countries at the household level or in small and medium enterprises.

Six of the chapters in this book are based on data from the PICTURE Africa study between 2007 and 2010. Two additional chapters detail country-specific studies based on findings from other research projects. Overall, the study concluded that ICTs make a difference to the livelihoods of the poor and contribute to reducing both financial and non-financial dimensions of poverty.

ICT Pathways to Poverty Reduction is essential reading for policymakers and researchers in international development, as well as staff of development agencies working on livelihoods for the poor.

(Source: IDRC)

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 11:08:39 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 19, 2014


How do we make educational materials accessible to a girl from a poor family in Africa where over 50% of her female peers will never go to school? How can we get books into the hands of the poorest people on Earth?

The answer, at least in the immediate term, is mobile devices – and more precisely, mobile phones. Mobile devices are the most successful and ubiquitous information and communication technology in human history. They are plentiful in places where books and schools are scarce.

In less than a decade, mobile technology has spread to the furthest corners of the planet. Of the estimated 7 billion people on Earth, 6 billion now have access to a working mobile phone. Africa, which had a mobile penetration rate of just 5% in the 1990s, is now the second largest and fastest growing mobile phone market in the world, with a penetration rate of over 60% and climbing.

Mobile devices are transforming the way we communicate, live and learn. We must ensure that this digital revolution becomes a revolution in education, promoting inclusive and better learning everywhere.

From 17 to 21 February 2014, the UNESCO Mobile Learning Week will explore how mobile technologies can meet the needs of educators and help them improve their effectiveness. Under the theme of “Empowering teachers with technology”, MLW 2014 will consider the benefits as well as challenges associated with mobile learning—such as ensuring equity of devices, online safety, limited mobile-friendly content and the need for teacher training. “Technology can be a powerful education multiplier, but we must know how to use it… On its own, technology is not enough. Empowerment comes from skills and opportunities to use them. It comes from quality content that is inclusive, that draws on local languages and knowledge systems,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.

As mobile technology jumps from the margins of education to the mainstream, teachers will be key to the success of ICTs in teaching and learning. While not a panacea, mobile technology has a clear track record of improving educational efficiency. MLW 2014 will investigate how educators can best utilize mobile devices to achieve national and international learning objectives, including Education for All.

Despite impressive progress, the world is not on track to achieving the Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 deadline. To ensure universal primary education UNESCO estimates that 6.8 million teachers need to be hired worldwide by 2015: 1.7 million are needed to fill new posts and 5.1 million are needed to replace outgoing teachers. These shortages—both current and anticipated— impede a wide range of development efforts by preventing young people from gaining access to the high quality instruction needed to excel in knowledge-based societies. The shortage of trained and motivated teachers is most acute in parts of the world where more and better quality instruction is desperately needed. In light of the urgency of the global teacher crisis, UNESCO wants to better understand how mobile technology can help prepare new teachers and provide professional development to working teachers.

Compounding the challenges of teacher supply, are concerns about teacher quality. Many children who are in school fail to develop basic competencies. As the latest UNESCO Global Monitoring Report reveals, 250 million students worldwide cannot read, write or count, even after four years of school. Close to 775 million adults – 64% of whom are women – still lack reading and writing skills, with the lowest rates in Sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia.

Improving educational access and quality requires political leadership, planning and action. To this effect, MLW 2014 will host a policy forum, symposium, research track, 11 half-day workshops, and 80 breakout presentations on the most cutting-edge topics, such as Open Educational Resources; classroom apps for smartphones and basic phones alike, content for tablets and netbooks; mobile learning pedagogics; building mobile learning apps; social media and more.

Mobile technologies hold the key to turning today’s digital divide into digital dividends, bringing equitable and quality education for all.

Further details

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:48:30 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Malawian mothers and guardians of young children who live in villages far from health facilities are heaving a sigh of relief, after the introduction of a hotline through which they can access medical advice. VillageReach, a non-profit NGO, is running a program called “Chipatala Cha Pa Foni“, which means Health Center by Phone.

Malawi has some of the highest mother and child mortality rates in the world. The maternal mortality ratio is at 675 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, while the under-five mortality rate is 112 deaths per 1,000 births.

The figures are largely attributed to limited availability of timely and reliable health information for women of childbearing age, and a lack of access to health care for villagers due to long distances.

VillageReach officials say the phone program, which is currently run in the districts of Balaka, Mulanje, Nkhota-kota and Ntcheu, aims to bridge this information gap. “This is a toll-free case management hotline, which means people can call free from any Airtel [mobile phone service provider] phone and can ask their questions concerning any health issues", explained Zachariah Jezman, the program manager. "And apart from that component, we have also a reminder and tips service. In addition to that we have protocol approved messages, which are either posted to clients who have personal phone or which can be retrieved by a client without a phone by using any Airtel phone”.

According to Jezman, two complementary services extend the health centers' reach by providing Malawians with access to accurate health information.

He said the clients are handled by hotline workers who are trained personnel in maternal, newborn, and children's health. The workers use a simple touch-screen device that records data electronically for monitoring and evaluation purposes. They are supervised by trained nurses for quality assurance.

Balaka Center hotline nurse supervisor Novice Gauti tells VOA the center receives between 25 and 30 calls each day from mothers and guardians who seek medical advice. Gauti said along with providing crucial help for people in remote villages, Chipatala Cha pa Foni has helped reduce queues in the health facilities.

“Now the queues at the hospitals are very small compared to the time when there was no Chipatala cha pa Foni, because the mothers were just rushing to the hospital with minor problems", she noted. " But now when they have minor problems or discomfort they can easily and comfortably call us from their home and seek medical advice or medical care”.

(Source: Voice of America)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 10:32:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, February 18, 2014


Wikigender, the UN Foundation, Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children (HBSC), the EU-LAC Foundation, European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), ECLAC and PARIS21 would like to hear your views on where are the data gaps and engage in a discussion on pioneering initiatives that generate new data and new methodological approaches to address complex areas (e.g. unpaid care, time use, social norms).

The outcomes of the discussion and main findings will be synthesised in a final report and presented/distributed at a side event organised by the OECD Development Centre, Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the UK Department for International Development (DFID) in March 2014, during the 58th session on UN the Commission on the Status of Women in New York.

Participate from 9am (GMT+1) on 27/01 until 5pm on 14/02!

Background

The objective of this online discussion is to focus on data gaps on gender equality, which can contribute to the 58th Commission for the Status of Women’s (CSW) review of the MDGs. Given the growing advocacy momentum for a stand-alone gender equality goal and targets in the post-2015 agenda, it is important to stocktake progress made since 2000 on improving the quality, coverage and approaches to data, which can assist in the elaboration of priorities for the statistical infrastructure for gender equality moving forward. Initiatives spearheaded at the international level (e.g. the UN Women/UNSD 52 minimum set of indicators, EDGE initiative, Data 2X), regional organisations (e.g. ECLAC, EU-LAC, EIGE), and national statistical offices point to the importance of coordinated action and knowledge-sharing for advancing the gender agenda at all levels: sub-national, national and international.

The Wikigender online discussion will look at where are the data gaps, map pioneering initiatives that generate new data (including use of big data), share knowledge on new methodological approaches to address complex areas (e.g. unpaid care, time use, social norms), progress on gender statistics since 2000, as well as national capacities to collect data. It aims to bring together leading institutes working on gender statistics to share and discuss their initiatives, results and proposals for improving gender statistics amongst a technical community of practice.

More information

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 11:59:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, February 13, 2014


Safety is a basic human right. But for the millions of women and girls living in low-income urban communities across the world, personal safety can be difficult to achieve – giving way to gender-based violence, social isolation or a lack of basic social services. With this challenge, we are asking the OpenIDEO community to help design solutions that enable women to feel safe and empowered, by contributing research, sharing ideas and collaborating with others during the challenge.

According to the latest UN Habitat Report, women make up the majority of the world’s poor—up to 70 percent in some countries. It is also widely acknowledged that women and girls living in low-income urban contexts are disproportionately affected by safety hazards such as gender-based violence, unstable housing and inadequate sanitation facilities or lighting. As more and more people in developing countries migrate into cities from more rural areas, finding effective safety solutions for women and girls becomes increasingly urgent.

In order to frame the context for this challenge, Amplify convened an interdisciplinary group of subject-matter experts and community stakeholders to explore the issues underlying women’s safety. Learn more about these issues and what the experts discussed. The Amplify team will also be sharing research contributions as they learn from women, girls and multidisciplinary experts throughout the Research Phase.

Thought Starters for This Challenge
While there are countless exciting design directions for improving women’s safety in low-income urban areas, here are a few of the opportunity areas that came up during our expert convening that we are particularly excited about:

- How might we leverage the population density of low-income urban areas as a catalyst for safety?
- How might we use existing points of connection – from schools, to bus stops, to marketplaces – to build community, support and agency among women and girls?
- How might we engage men and boys in making urban environments safer for women and girls?
- How might we use infrastructure – transportation, architecture, sanitation and lighting, for example – to enhance safety and security?

Check out more information and short videos about these opportunity areas.

We trust that everyone will approach our challenge conversation with empathy and respect. With that in mind, we’ve outlined some Guiding Principles for contributing to this challenge – a great place to start if you’re just jumping in.

(Source: Open Ideo)

Thursday, February 13, 2014 3:59:15 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, January 22, 2014

We are excited to announce the launch of our WWW: Women Weave the Web Campaign! Join World Pulse in supporting women who are using the Internet to transform the world. From the streets of Nairobi to the plazas of Buenos Aires, women are logging on and sparking change. Now is the time to break down the digital divide. Participate in our campaign to make sure that every woman can access the tools that will empower her!

Our newly launched campaign is poised to crowdsource the wisdom of grassroots women leaders like you on issues related to digital inclusion and empowerment. With the launch of the campaign, we're kicking off the Digital Access phase to find out about challenges you have accessing the Internet and the solutions you and your community are developing. In a few months, we'll turn our focus to Digital Literacy and then to Digital Empowerment, to gather your ideas on the tools you need to fully espouse the web, as well as how the Internet empowers you to create real and powerful change on the ground. World Pulse will analyze the submitted testimonies, and, in conjunction with our partners, present your ideas and recommendations to important international forums, policy leaders, media outlets, and technology companies. Together, we can make sure our voices are heard in the halls of power, calling for the digital inclusion and empowerment of all women around the world!

Want to write a story? Take a picture? Connect with other women? There many ways to get involved with the campaign, from writing a journal entry on digital access to uploading a photo of your local library, or mapping internet cafes that are safe for women. Take a look at our How to Participate page to learn about all the ways that you can get your voice heard on this important issue!

This year, we have joined forces with several partners to bring some incredible opportunities and prizes to campaign participants! These opportunities include the $20,000 Lynn Syms prize, to be awarded to an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change and advance her community work.

Campaign participants will also be able to apply to become a part of the Beyond Access Community, an initiative aimed at supporting local libraries in implementing community development programs. To be eligible for all the prizes, you first need to submit a journal entry to the campaign, so submit your story now!

(Source: World Pulse)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:53:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Many don’t believe that women can be as successful as men in fields related to math and science. Coding and computer programming have particularly been male-dominated fields, in the West as well as in the Arab world.

This perception has inspired the formation of several all-women coding and electronics groups, such as Girls Who Code, Women Who Tech, Women 2.0, and Girls in Tech which have opened two regional branches this year, in Cairo and Dubai (Another regional branch, in Kuwait, closed three years ago).

Girls in Tech was launched last November to bring the "know-how" of Lean Startup Machine to Egypt - its three-day model of trainings, tutorial sessions, and workshops targeted at school students in underdeveloped markets - to Egypt's students. But since then, the political and economic climate has forced the local chapter of Girls in Tech to shift its strategy and build instead a local community that challenges girls to develop tech skills on their own. Looking for local technical partners to fill in for the leery American organization wasn’t easy, according to Karam, because Egyptian telecom companies are rarely interested in anything beyond their own bottom lines.

This community was launched during a big event in Cairo, during which members were able to share opportunities and advice to facilitate their work. Smaller, more informal networking meetings as well as customizable mentorship events are also in the making.

Mona Karam, founder of Girls in Tech’s Egypt branch, is 27 years old, and works in Research and Development at Vodafone. While the general impression, she says, is that it’s harder for girls to succeed in technology fields, she and her organization have worked on bringing several young women to the forefront. One of these is Dr. Maha Nassar, founder and CEO of Jupiter2000, who has been working in the IT field since 1996, specifically in electronic financial transactions. Another woman is Rasha Ali, CEO of Smacrs, which specializes in e-advertising and marketing and other e-services. Both participated in the opening ceremony for Girls in Tech’s local branch in Cairo back in April.

"Women's capabilities usually begin to be questioned after they graduate from college with majors related to technology, math, engineering, science, and business management", she says. Women, she adds, sometimes struggle to find support from even the people closest to them, as was the case with Dr. Maha Nassar who revealed, during a speech in the opening ceremony, how her husband discouraged her in the beginning of her professional career. Later, he became her biggest supporter as her company's customer database began expanding to the GCC countries.

The Girls in Tech team, made up of five women who work part-time, including Karam, as well as many volunteers, are developing a database of pioneering women in the fields of mobile apps development, online marketing, and online media. Few pure technical fields are included in this list, perhaps because of the continuing stereotypes that Karam seeks to challenge.

Karam also spoke of the group’s intention to partner with public schools that lack technical capabilities to organize small programs in traditionally male-dominated fields.

(Source: Wamda)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 9:35:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, December 22, 2013

The deadline to submit your application and all required submission materials is January 22, 2014.

Women Enhancing Technology (WeTech) helps women and girls enter and succeed in technical careers, with the goal of enhancing women's talent and skills needed to fuel technological and economic growth. WeTech, a Clinton Global Initiative commitment, is led by the Institute of International Education (IIE) and implemented with a consortium of dedicated partners to support innovative activities, training, build networks and offer professional opportunities for women and girls in tech.

SEED FUND: AFRICA

WeTech is launching a Seed Fund in Africa that will provide small grants to support individuals or civil society organizations to play a role in increasing the access for women and girls to computer science-related training, jobs and leadership roles. While new and existing initiatives will be considered, preference will be given to the expansion of current projects.

Seed Fund grant amounts will range from $2,000 - $20,000. Grant applications will be reviewed by a panel of experts knowledgeable of Science, Technology, Engineering or Math (STEM) content areas or applicant's countries. Based on the application review, the Seed Fund team may propose modifications to the budget, requested amount and/or scope of the project that the grantee may accept if they so choose. Winners of the WeTech Seed Grants will be required to report quarterly on their progress as well as participate in, and contribute to, a virtual community of fellow grantees.

If you have specific questions throughout the application process, please contact us at wetech@iie.org

Further details

Sunday, December 22, 2013 8:20:37 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, December 19, 2013


Google India aims to help 50 million more women get online by 2014-end by undertaking a variety of initiatives across the country.

Though India is on its way to become the second largest Internet market, with 200 million users, overtaking the U.S., only one-third of the online users are women.

The Internet can play an important role in empowering women in India and help them transform their lives. It can help women achieve self esteem and express their views freely, open up new opportunities and help them gain education. At the macro level, these benefits can translate into lowering maternal and infant mortality rates, a higher GDP of the country and improving standards of living.

But lack of easy access to the Internet and lack of knowledge of how to use the global network and its relevance in their daily lives are the biggest barriers for women to get online. ‘Helping women get online’ is just that initiative which aims to overcome these hurdles. Google India aims to help 50 million more women get online by 2014-end by undertaking a variety of initiatives across the country. “We have already seen many cases of women benefiting greatly by using the Internet and we are really delighted to partner with leading brands in the country in this ambitious project”, said Rajan Anandan, MD and VP Sales & Operations for Google India.

The initiative will focus on creating awareness of the benefits of Internet and educating women to use it to improve their lives, and work with partners to enable easy Internet access points for women. In the first stage, Google will launch a mass media campaign and promote the specially designed website www.hwgo.com which will host content covering the very basics of the Internet and special content that is relevant to women, available in both Hindi and English. Women can call toll-free helpline number 1800 41 999 77 for answers to any query about the Internet.

The initiative follows the success of a pilot programme that was carried out by Google India at a village in Bhilwara, Rajasthan, where over 100,000 women were trained in the basic applications of the Internet.

Now the programme will be supported by Intel, HUL and Axis Bank through joint outreach efforts including Internet training in digital literacy. Intel is also launching a mobile app, “Easy Step,” for women and it would be available on Android playstore.

Google has partnered with a host of different companies which will create and share content relevant to Indian women on www.hwgo.com. These partners include Johnson & Johnson, Indiatimes.com, Healthkart.com and Babyoye.com.

The Bhilwara project covered girl students in the age group 13-18, housewives and working women. Basic training content was created in Hindi to help the women understand how they could use the Internet in their day-to-day lives.

(Source: The Hindu)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:23:25 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As is happening in other areas of society, women already occupies a better posision among the people who are making online computer training. 67% of students are women, compared to 33 % of men, according to data from Internet Academi, the largest Spanish online training platform on Internet.

Currently, they are opting to form a majority (83% ) for short programs, one month, to meet specific needs and improve their qualifications. The other 17% select a deeper or masters programs, which takes six to 10 months. They prefer mainly four areas: Social Media, Browsers, Web Analytics and Community Management.

The "sketch" of women who are doing digital training, according to data from Internet Academi would be: Spanish, around thirty years old, with higher education and who holds a responsible position in the field of Consulting or Internet.

· Age. 48% of the students are between 30 and 39 years old. Behind them, the age group between 20 and 29 accounts for 31 % of the total, and only 19 % are older than 40 years.
· Studying. With higher education level, which, in many cases, represent a Postgraduate. These studies are primarily focused on advertising, marketing, computers or technology.
· Vocational sector of origin. The students interested in the digital ecosystem work primarily in Consulting, Internet, Technology and Distribution. There is a small representation of the world of banking, insurance, textile, hospitality, advertising and marketing.
· Working place. 85% of the students have a position of responsibility as Director or Area Coordinator Department according to Internet Academi. The number of administrative and employees represents 8 %.
· Motivation. The three main reasons why women choose to be formed are: take the push that  Internet has in recent years to get a better job, increase their general knowledge to progress in their current job and complete their resume.
· Preferred courses. The students are mainly inclined to courses related to social networks and the Community Management, search engine optimization , the user experience , analytics and metrics in Internet and mobility. Among women who are enrolled in a Master Program, the chosen discipline is the E -Commerce.

"The data show that women are joining en masse to the knowledge society and their role will grow soon to address the changes that will continue", explains Rodrigo Miranda, director of Internet Academi. "Being off the Internet is similar to being illiterate in the twentieth century, and the woman has understood perfectly. They want to take this area to improve their opportunities in a business world, which is still dominated mostly by men, and they are aware that the Internet is a much more egalitarian environment where the shortage of well-trained professionals opens opportunities where they will not find wage differences like in other sectors".

Rodrigo Miranda recalls that the Network has also broken the geographical barriers. "In the case of Internet Academi, although the vast majority of our students are Spanish, in the last two calls has significantly grown the number of people from America, especially from Mexico and Colombia, and even from Asia, reaching 25% of total".

(Source: Cibersur)

Thursday, December 19, 2013 5:12:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, December 06, 2013

This paper captures a wide range of initiatives in Bangladesh, Kenya, Egypt, Lebanon, Indonesia, Turkey, Mauritania, Tunisia, Nepal, Nairobi, West Africa, India, Nigeria, Malawi, Uganda, Serbia and South Africa, among others, that illustrate how ICTs embedded in broader communication for development strategies can provide the driving power to change and ensure better outcomes for marginalized adolescent girls. The paper highlights many of the benefits of ICT use for adolescent girls, including access to knowledge and information; connection, engagement and agency; involvement in efforts for improved governance and service delivery; increased opportunities for empowerment and voice; greater participation and inclusion; and efforts to overcome violence, exploitation and abuse. In addition, the authors also recognize existing barriers and risks in using ICTs by marginalized adolescent girls.

The paper also features case studies of C4D strategies developed by Plan International and Women in Cities International (WCI), partner organizations that are using ICTs to empower and improve the lives of adolescent girls. The examples illustrate ways in which voices of adolescent girls are captured, amplified and ‘upstreamed’ from individual or community to higher levels of influence and decision-making. At the same time, they demonstrate the essential elements of effective C4D strategy development.

Initiated in 2008, Plan’s Youth Empowerment through Technology, Arts and the Media (YETAM) programme took place in 6 West and East Africa countries: Cameroon, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda and Senegal. Through this programme, youth engaged in the community development process and beyond. They were trained on different forms of communication, which included verbal communication, performance, visual arts, and social media, in order to help them effectively raise their viewpoints and enter into dialogue with families, peers, community members, decision makers, and the general public. Social media and new technology allowed those who formerly did not have a space at the global table to enter into the dialogue directly.

Download the Full Report here

(Source: Youth Economic Opportunities)

Friday, December 06, 2013 3:57:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 28, 2013


ITU has recently adopted two new policies to mainstream gender equality and improve the accessibility of ITU services for persons with disabilities. Both policies were adopted by the ITU Council at its 2013 session.

The adoption of these policies represents an important step forward for the Union and builds on past ITU initiatives set in place with the leadership and support of the Membership.

As they call for more equitable, gender balanced and accessible ICT environment, ITU believes that they should lead by example in these domains and that they should strengthen the capacity of the ITU Secretariat to support Membership on these important issues.

ITU welcomes and encourages ITU Memberships to engage with them in this endeavor and it seeks support in the following areas:

- Contributing in kind (expert/training materials, etc).

- Sharing best practices and innovative ideas on how to put these policies into action.

- Ensuring that policy and program discussions within ITU governing bodies do include a gender and accessibility perspective.

- Improving gender balance in delegations and related committee work and providing equal opportunity to male and female candidatures for elected official posts and for membership of Radio regulations Boards.

- Supporting specific activities of the Action Plans under development through voluntary contributions of the ITU gender equality and mainstreaming policy trust fund as well as to the ITU Accessibility Fund.

Kindly refer to the following attachment for further information: Adoption of New ITU Policies on GEM and Accessibility.

Further information

Thursday, November 28, 2013 4:01:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
During the Global Forum on Media and Gender which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2 to 4 December 2013, the Organization will facilitate discussions and partnership building on the critical need for increased female representation in media content, management, and push for the implementation of policies to reduce the equality gap.



“Too often still, the media reflects and sustains discriminatory attitudes to gender, failing to represent the voices of women or to report on such crucial concerns as gender-based discrimination, including violence against women. The fact remains also that women still have relatively little decision-making power inside media organizations”, noted UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova.

The Director-General believes this Forum will “give new momentum to global efforts to promote gender equality in and through the media, by strengthening international cooperation through a Global Alliance for Media and Gender”.

She added “the organization and the project aspire to “catalyse deep change for women’s empowerment and gender equality in and through media”, which in turn will also “contribute to shaping an ambitious post-2015 development agenda”.

Click here to read full message from the Director-General.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, November 28, 2013 3:43:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 21, 2013

This edition of GISWatch explores women’s rights and gender through the lens of information and communications technologies (ICTs). It includes a series of expert thematic reports on issues such as access to infrastructure, participation, online disobedience, and sexuality online, as well as 46 country reports on topics like the rights of domestic workers, trafficking in women, participation in governance, child brides, and the right to abortion.

GISWatch 2013 shows that gains in women’s rights made online are not always certain or stable. While access to the internet for women has increased their participation in the social, economic and governance spheres, there is another side to these opportunities: online harassment, cyberstalking, and violence against women online all of which are on the increase globally. This GISWatch is a call to action, to the increased participation of women in all forms of technological governance and development, and to a reaffirmation and strengthening of their rights online.

GISWatch is published annually and is a joint initiative by the Association for Progressive Communications (APC) and the Humanist Institute for Development Cooperation (Hivos).

Download the full report

(Source: GIS Watch)

Thursday, November 21, 2013 4:04:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Europe's outstanding women, girls and organisations making an impact in the digital world were announced last week at ICT 2013 in Vilnius, Lithuania. Winners of Europe’s first-ever Digital Woman Awards, Sasha Bezuhanova, Lune Victoria van Eewijk, Amy Mather and HTW–Berlin, are recognized for their leadership, entrepreneurship and creativity in digital areas of study and work, and for their demonstrated commitment to increasing the number of girls and women in ICT studies and careers in Europe. The awards are under the patronage of Commission Vice-President Neelie Kroes and organised by Zen Digital as part of their support of the EU Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs (see IP/138/182).

The 2013 European Digital Woman Award competition was organised by Zen Digital in partnership with the Council of European Professional Informatics Societies (CEPIS), DIGITALEUROPE, the European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT) and EUSchoolNET. The awards are affectionately known as the “Adas”, in honor of Ada Lovelace, the first computer programmer and author of the algorithm for Babagge's mechanical computer. By recognising girls and women who have distinguished themselves in digital studies and careers, and organisations that help to increase the participation of girls and women in the digital sector, the awards aim to increase the number of digitally-skilled girls and women in Europe and help close the ICT skills gap in Europe.

Women are under-represented at all levels in the ICT sector, especially in decision-making positions. The ICT sector is rapidly growing creating around 120 000 new jobs every year. But due to differences in demands and skills – and despite soaring unemployment – there may be a lack of 900 000 skilled ICT workers in 2015.

The Ada Awards were first announced at the Digital Agenda Assembly in June of 2013 as a pledge to the Grand Coalition for Digital Skills and Jobs, and the competition ran through end-September this year. Nominations for the girl, woman and organisation awards came from across the European Union and reflect a broad spectrum of digital fields – academia, research, industry, enterprise and creative and social sectors.

For more information

Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:49:19 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In the spirit of promoting gender equality in the Media, UNESCO and partners have launched a video calling for action on gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through media in the form of a Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMG).

The video initially addresses the significant inequalities witnessed in the field of media and journalism in terms of gender and includes statements from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Christiane Amanpour of CNN, bringing attention to the urgent actions needed in the field.

In relation to the GAMG, the Global Forum on Media and Gender will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 2-4 December.

The Global Forum on Media and Gender (GFMG) is a pioneering global event that intends to address gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through the media. A key output of the forum will be the establishment of a Global Alliance on Media and Gender which will coordinate systematic follow-up to one of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPA), “Women and the Media Diagnosis”.

The video was co-produced with Gabinete de Comunicación y Educación (Communication and Education Research Group) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.
Click to view the video and to share through social networks.

Further information

Thursday, November 21, 2013 3:20:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 14, 2013

Despite strong evidence regarding the importance of fully incorporating women into the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector, a gender ICT gap still remains in Europe. European females do not take ICT studies. Moreover, women are underrepresented in the sector, particularly in technical and decision-making positions.

Women’s active participation in the ICT sector is essential for Europe's long-term growth and economic sustainability. The study Women Active in the ICT Sector is another step in the on-going efforts to tackle the problem. This is achieved by:

1. Updating current data regarding females’ roles in the sector;
2. Identifying role models and career paths to inspire women and girls;
3. Assessing the economic impact of incorporating women into the sector;
4. Reviewing the status of the European Code of Best Practices for Women and ICT; and
5. Analysing successful social media campaigns. The conclusions of this study provide useful insights, which it is hoped will help to attract women to, and encourage them to remain in the ICT sector.

Based on these insights several recommendations are proposed:

1. Build a renewed image of the sector;
2. Empower women in the sector;
3. Increase the number of women entrepreneurs in the ICT sector and
4. Improve working conditions in the sector. 

Download the Full report here

(Source: EU Publications)

Thursday, November 14, 2013 6:09:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Telecentre.org Foundation, under its Telecentre Women Program, is pleased to announce the opening of a new online course on Digital Literacy for Women and Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship. It will run from November 14-30.

The course is aimed at providing women and youth the necessary skills to enable them to engage in employment, entrepreneurship, and lifelong learning so they can stay competitive amidst rapid changes. It will be a Training of Trainers (ToT) type of course where participants will also learn how to teach the content to the learners for whom this course was designed and developed, the women and youth, both in the online and face-to-face modes.

The course is open to anyone who meets the following requirements:
- Has good access to the Internet; and
- Is able to devote at least 3 hours a day (or 10 hours a week) for a total learning time of 48 hours.

A Certificate of Trainer Course Completion will be issued to those who will be able to complete all the requirements of the course.

Developed with the support of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and to be implemented in partnership with the Philippine Community eCenter Network (PhilCeCNet), the online course will be delivered in the blended online mode, a combination of synchronous online sessions and online interactions through social media.

Interested parties may contact our Telecentre Women Program Manager, Ms. Maria Teresa Camba, at tcamba@telecentre.org for slot confirmation before November 14. For more info about the course, check out the course description.

(Source: Telecentre. Org)

Thursday, November 14, 2013 5:49:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, November 07, 2013


“Women In African History: An E-Learning Tool” corresponds to the two global priorities of UNESCO – Priority Africa and Gender Equality – and represents a crucial step to expand and disseminate knowledge of the role of women in African history to counter prejudices and stereotypes in the framework of “The Pedagogical use of The General History of Africa”. In line with UNESCO’s Gender Equality Action Plan, the Project seeks to empower women through ICTs and access to information and knowledge to promote an accurate understanding of their role in the economic, social, cultural, and political development of the region.

“Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool,” implemented by the Knowledge Societies Division in the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO, is an internet platform that consists of multimedia content including comic strips, interactive pedagogical units, audio modules, and quizzes in order to highlight the role of women in African History.

The first phase of the project (2012/2013) is dedicated to the development of the architecture of the platform and the production of the first eight modules; a particular emphasis is given to historical women figures from Africa and the African Diaspora. In this way, the project develops ICT tools for knowledge acquisition and sharing that encourages the general education and ICT capacity of young women, promotes the use of ICTs, and capitalizes on intangible heritage to promote the link between culture, education, technological innovation and sustainable development.

Further details

Thursday, November 07, 2013 4:44:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


“Fear” was the word used often by women from Ngöbe-Buglé indigenous community in Costa Rica when they talked about their first experience in front of a microphone, computer or video-camera. Even more crippling than fear to speak in public or ask someone a question is a profound belief that a woman’s role should be limited to taking care of children and homes.

The exercise which solicited ideas for radio stories about Ngöbe-Buglé home-makers revealed that, although women practice traditional cooking, handicrafts and medicine on a daily basis, they do not consider themselves as guardians of traditions. Usually this role is reserved to sukia, a healer in indigenous societies across Central America. On their way to the knowledge society, Ngöbe-Buglé, Sutiaba, Nahoas-Nicarao, Chorotegas-Nahuas-Mangues y Cacaopera-Matagalpa and Guna communities have to count with illiteracy, unemployment and poverty. High rate of teenage pregnancies affects the number of girls continuing their studies.

To organize a series of workshops on ICTs, radio and video for women from indigenous communities in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, UNESCO partnered with the Sustainable Development Network (RDS) NGO and the Indigenous Movement of Nicaragua, as well as Centre for Social Development Studies (CEDES) NGO in Panama. From July to October 2013, the workshops were taking place in San Felix, Chiriqui province in Panama; La Casona, Punta Arenas province in Costa Rica; and in Managua for participants from Pacific, Centre and North regions of Nicaragua.

After theoretical and practical courses, women recorded and edited stories about traditions, legends, cosmology as well as everyday community life. In the Rural College of La Casona, trainees scripted, played, filmed and edited socially-important messages. In Nicaragua, training yielded 12 audiovisual products and 20 radio and audiovisual pieces in Panama and Costa Rica. More than 75 women, mostly mistresses of families, acquired a combined set of competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude), graduating from users of mobile phones to potential producers of information and media content, who can make their voice heard. More workshops and exchange meetings are planned until December 2013.

UNESCO will continue strengthening communication capacities of indigenous communities, in particular women, with objective of introducing audiovisual content generated by the communities into media at provincial and national levels.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, November 07, 2013 4:18:33 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nigeria’s ministry of communication technology has unveiled a new set of initiatives aimed at empowering women and girls in the ICT sector.

Initiatives planned to boost the representation of women in the sector include ‘Smart Women Nigeria’, ‘1,000 Girls in ICT’ and the ‘ICT Girls Clubs’.

According to ICT minister, Omobola Johnson, the various initiatives are geared towards educating, empowering, developing and making women and girls “ICT savvy”.
According to the minister, two of the initiatives, the Smart Women Nigeria and the 1,000 Girls ICT training programme are planned to be launched on Monday, while the ICT Girls Clubs is expected to be launched in January 2014.

“The aim of these clubs is to help to bridge the existing digital divide between boys and girls and remove the barriers that discourage girls from embracing ICTs. The goal is to ensure that more girls embrace and adopt careers in ICTs. The clubs will teach animation, website development, blogging, software development, graphics design, games, computer programming among other", Johnson said.

Smart Women Nigeria, developed by the United States-based social enterprise, ChangeCorp, is to be launched in collaboration with women’s empowerment group, WIMBIZ.

The initiative, according to Johnson, seeks to promote the development of women in Nigeria by harnessing the power of mobile communication tools provided by ICTs. She said the Smart Women initiative would target women in a range of income brackets. The programme will offer them learning in communication skills, banking, financial, health, and family work/life balance issues.

Set to be launched in collaboration with Huawei, the 1,000 Girls in ICT initiative aims to equip 1,000 girls with crucial ICT skills necessary for empowerment and development of the girls.

Over three days, the girls will be trained in telecommunication networks, transmission network and GSM, LTE, WCDMA and other ICT skills. According to the minister, upon completion of the first phase, the top 200 students based on performance will be given further training to become Huawei-Certified Network Associates.

(Source: ITwebAfrica)

Thursday, November 07, 2013 3:52:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 01, 2013
PREAMBLE

We, the participants in the second Women With the Wave High Level Forum Series on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Media Inclusion of Women and Girls and Persons with Disabilities, held in Hanoi, Vietnam on the 23rd and 24th October, 2013, make this affirmation of commitment to its goals and outcomes and to the empowering of women and girls and persons with disabilities through media and ICTs.

The first Women With the Wave Forum was held in Seoul, Korea in October 2012.  From that two-day forum the Statement on Empowering Women through Media and ICTs was developed and supported by participants and sponsors.  The statement included a commitment to overarching goals in relation to the empowerment of women and girls to fully participate in, and have access to, the media and information and communication technologies (ICT). It also provided a number of potential initiatives for practical application across the region and a call for participants and sponsors to engage and promote these initiatives. In the second forum 2013 we recognise that another diversity group, persons with disabilities, should be targeted for digital inclusion and employment opportunities in the media and ICT and identified necessary measures to promote their digital inclusion and employment opportunities in media and ICTs.

Therefore, we support a reinforcement of the 2012 Women with the Wave Statement and a call to move forward to implement the updated actions arising from presentations and discussions from the 2013 forum. We also support the additional commitment and relevant activities and outcomes for persons with disabilities.

In thanking the organizers of the 2013 Forum, the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Vietnam Television (VTV) and other partners, we note that women and girls make up 50 per cent of the world’s population and there are one billion people living with some form of disability and that equal rights and opportunity underpin healthy economies and societies.
Further, we recognize that the media has a crucial role to play in promoting women and persons with disabilities’ full participation in every aspect of life and society and, to this end, we invite ITU and ABU to endorse this statement with a view to seeking to assist in the practical implementation of its recommendations.

We also call on intergovernmental agencies, in particular ITU, UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia-Pacific (ESCAP), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and UN Women (UNW), professional associations of broadcasters, especially the ABU, regional training institutions, such as the Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD) and the Asian Media and Information Communication Centre (AMIC), commercial businesses and Foundations, relevant NGOs and tertiary education institutions, including University journalism and communication departments, to take note of this statement and to undertake, where applicable, to provide support for its recommendations.

COMMITMENT

We are committed to promoting widespread and affordable access to media and information and communication technology (ICT) for women and girls and a gender inclusive media and ICT environment that empowers women and girls to fully participate and give access to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication by being able to:

- work in the media and ICT fields across all levels and occupational groups on and off the screen;
- have access to technological and digital platforms including multilingual and localised content;
- achieve a positive, non-stereotypical and balanced portrayal across all forms of media and technological platforms, including the recognition of women with ICT careers and girls who use ICTs for their empowerment.

We are committed to promoting widespread and affordable accessible media and information and communication technology and a more inclusive media and ICT environment for persons with disabilities by being able to:

- work in the media and ICT fields across a range of levels and occupational groups on and off the screen;
- have improved access to technological and digital platforms and use accessible media and  ICT including multilingual and localised content;
- contribute to a positive and balanced portrayal across media and technological platforms.

IMPLEMENTATION

Specifically, we declare support for the practical application across the region of the following agreed activities and outcomes of the Forum:

-development of a diversity action plan for ABU in 2014;

-implementation of the Broadcasting for All: Focus on Gender guidelines that include strategic and practical applications for use in media and ICT workplaces to promote and implement a gender mainstreaming corporate culture throughout organizations particularly focusing on policies and training that include workplace behaviour, work and family balance conditions of service, positive gender initiatives and career development;

-encouragement for the determining of a framework for the broad provision of training and access to technological and digital media by women and girls and persons with disabilities;

-applying existing research, surveys and findings of the portrayal, stories, faces and voices of the female population as well as persons with disabilities across the region and formulating a broad strategy for the application of fair representations across organizations and platforms and to change stereotypes in media content, language and presentation;

-championing media leaders who promote content and balanced images of girls and women and persons with disabilities;

-piloting UNESCO’s Gender Sensitive Indicators for Media (GSIM) as a practical tool to assess and encourage gender equality and women’s empowerment in media;

-collaborating with partners, such as the ITU, to promote women and girls in media and ICTs, including developing programming story lines with women and ICT careers, organising events on International Girls in ICT Day, promoting the Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign and supporting the recommendations of the 2013 Broadband Commission Working Group on Broadband and Gender;

-securing industry-wide commitments to take steps towards positive change to promote success stories on radio and television broadcasts;
-sharing existing resources amongst stakeholders, particularly in regard to gender and disability;

-gaining specific attention and assistance, from the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU) through its various specialized departments and its member organizations, to the needs of smaller media institutions (such as in island regions and remote areas), thus enabling out-reach to women and girls and persons with disabilities and their empowerment in marginalized societies;

-development and distribution of educational modules for use in secondary schools, tertiary education institutions and other scholastic agencies (and, where applicable, by distance learning modes and techniques) to introduce students to gender and media/ICT issues, and the role of media in society;

-making use of accessible broadcasting tools such as the ITU report, Making Television Accessible and the ITU Standardization Bureau Focus Group on Audio Visual Accessibility toolkit to work toward accessible media and ICTs for persons with disabilities, including by setting targets for introducing accessible broadcasting, accessible emergency communications and supporting a campaign for the accessible broadcasting of the 2016 Paralympic Games.

-adopt measures to ensure the early warning system and disaster risk reduction programs are accessible for persons with disabilities and meet universal design principles and UNCRPD, including provisions for access to alternative communication systems.

CONCLUSION

We recall the inspirational discourse of the two-day ABU/FES/ITU/UNESCO/VTV sponsored Women With the Wave High Level Forum and, in particular, the successful media and ICT case studies and models shared by speakers from throughout the region. The collegiality of fellow Forum participants, the professionalism of the videos and films they exhibited to the Forum, the commitment of keynote presenters and the atmosphere of optimism expressed by all present have reinforced our belief that affirmative action on the Forum recommendations is vital to ensuring the forward progress of the empowerment of women and girls and people with disabilities through media and ICTs.
To this end, we call on all who can assist to recognize the digital wave now sweeping the world and to join us in supporting the preparation of women and girls and people with disabilities for the opportunities and benefits which the knowledge society is now bringing to families worldwide and which will do so even more in the future.

******

Friday, November 01, 2013 4:59:52 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Telecentre.org Foundation is partnering with Ashoka Changemakers and General Electric in a brand new initiative called, "Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA". We believe that there is a multiplier effect of investing in women. Empowering women economically not only contributes to economic growth, but also enhances the wellbeing and resilience of societies as a whole.

The Women Powering Work: Innovations for Economic Equality in MENA online competition is looking for innovations that enable the full economic participation of women. The competition opens for entries on August 21st, 2013, offering three prizes of $25,000 each to the most innovative solutions. Visit the contest online until November 6th to enter your own idea or to nominate a leading social innovator.

On October 22, join us in a special Twitter Chat, which will announce 2 of the early entry prize winners. Details of the chat are as follows:



Follow #womenWork hashtag on Twitter to receive updates about the competition.

(Source: Telecentre.org)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:39:47 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Do you have a winning product or service for women?

Submit an entry by 29 November to win the GSMA mWomen Global Mobile Award

The GSMA mWomen Programme aims to increase resource-poor women’s access to and use of mobile phones and life-enhancing mobile services in low- and middle-income countries. Launched in October 2010, the initiative is a key industry response to the findings of the GSMA and The Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity study, which estimated that 300 million fewer women subscribed to mobile than men, suggesting a US$ 13 billion missed market opportunity.
Today, the GSMA mWomen programme objectives are to:

- Encourage industry to serve resource-poor women
- Increase availability of life-enhancing value-added services
- Promote solutions to women’s barriers to usage.

The programme pursues these objectives by offering seed funding and consulting support to help mobile operators and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) design and launch products and services to increase women’s access and use of mobile. The programme also generates and shares insights on the commercial and social value of serving women, as well as emerging lessons about economically sustainable ways to serve women with mobile at scale.

The GSMA mWomen Award celebrates products, services, distribution models, devices, applications or other innovations that increase mobile access and use by resource-poor women in low- and middle-income countries. For example, in addition to winning this prestigious award last year, Ooredoo’s Asiacell increased the proportion of women in its subscriber base from 20% to 40%, reaching nearly two million women, through its suite of products and services for the women of Iraq.

Shortlisted candidates will be published by the GSMA in January 2014, and one winner in each category will be announced at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on Tuesday 25th February 2014.

Further details

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:31:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A new study commissioned by Intel Corporation and conducted by Penn Schoen Berland examining global attitudes toward technology innovation challenges existing perceptions on technology champions and hotspots. The research reveals millennials (ages 18 to 24) are the least enthusiastic about technology today yet are optimistic for future technology that delivers a more personalized experience, while women in emerging markets are the most optimistic about innovations in technology.

The "Intel Innovation Barometer" reveals millennials globally show a stark contrast to their reputation as digital natives who can't get enough technology in their lives. A majority of millennials agree that technology makes people less human and that society relies on technology too much.

However, millennials also believe technology enhances their personal relationships (69 percent) and have great hope that innovations will positively impact education (57 percent), transportation (52 percent) and healthcare (49 percent). This generation is also slightly more willing than their oldest cohorts to anonymously share birth dates, GPS records and online shopping history if it helps to improve experiences.

"At first glance it seems millennials are rejecting technology, but I suspect the reality is more complicated and interesting", said Dr. Genevieve Bell, anthropologist and director of Interaction and Experience Research at Intel Labs. "A different way to read this might be that millennials want technology to do more for them, and we have work to do to make it much more personal and less burdensome".

Millennials want future technology to make life better, more simple and fun. Eighty-six percent believe technology innovation makes life simpler, and more than one-third think technology should know them by learning about their behavior and preferences. They want experiences that help them stay in the moment and be their best selves.

Women Carry the Tech Torch
The survey revealed that older women and those living in emerging markets are enthusiastic about the role of technology in their lives. Globally, women over 45 years of age are slightly more likely than younger women to say that people don't use enough technology. They also are more likely to say that technology makes people more human, helping to deepen their relationships.

These female tech fans are even more pronounced in emerging markets such as China, where more than 7 out of 10 women over the age of 45 believe people don't use technology enough. Women in emerging markets across ages believe innovations will drive better education (66 percent), transportation (58 percent), work (57 percent) and healthcare (56 percent). Women in emerging markets would be willing to embrace technologies others may consider to be too personal to improve their experiences: software that watches their work habits (86 percent), students' study habits (88 percent) and even smart toilets that monitor their health (77 percent).

"Women historically have become avid users of technology when that technology solves a problem, helps us organize our lives and that of our families as well as aids us in saving time and time shifting", added Bell. "I have to wonder whether this data is showing that women are optimistic because they see technology innovation that is starting to deliver on the promise of better fitting into the rhythms of our days, helping with our specific concerns and needs, and creating new compelling experiences that women and men alike will find valuable".

(Source: Intel Newsroom).

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:33:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


Getting more girls interested in a digital career and getting more women into digital jobs would benefit the digital industry, women themselves and Europe's economy. This is the key finding of the European Commission survey on women active in the ICT sector, published last week.

According to the study, there are now too few women working in the ICT sector:

1.Of 1,000 women with a Bachelors or other first degree, only 29 hold a degree in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) (as compared to 95 men), and only 4 in 1000 women will eventually work in the ICT sector.
2.Women leave the sector mid-career to a greater extent than men and they are under-represented in managerial and decision-making positions (even more than in other sectors).
3.Only 19.2% of ICT-sector workers have female bosses, compared to 45.2% of non-ICT workers.

But if the trend were reversed and women held digital jobs as frequently as men, the European GDP could be boosted annually by around € 9 billion (1.3 times Malta's GDP), according to the study. The ICT sector would benefit since organisations which are more inclusive of women in management achieve a 35% higher Return on Equity and 34% better total return to shareholders than other comparable organisations.

The study also suggests that women who work in the ICT sector earn almost 9% more than women in other parts of the economy, and also have greater higher flexibility in arranging their working schedules and are less susceptible to unemployment (by 2015, there will be 900,000 unfilled ICT positions in the EU).

European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said: "We now know, beyond doubt, that more women in a business mean a healthier business. It is high time the IT sector realised this and allowed women a chance to help the sector and Europe's economy benefit from their enormous potential".
The study also suggests four priority areas where action should be taken:

1.Building a renewed image of the sector among women and society, with actions such as disseminating most appealing ICT topics for young women (exciting, diverse, profitable etc.);
2.Empowering women in the sector, e.g. promoting, together with industry, harmonised European educational curricula to foster clear and straightforward ICT careers paths;
3.Increasing the number of women entrepreneurs in ICTs, e.g. improving access to seed and venture capital programs for women entrepreneurs;
4.Improving working conditions in the sector, e.g. by highlighting the improved performance of businesses employing women.

Further details

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:28:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


In several countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, women have equal access to Internet than men, but  women have disadvantage respect the use. This situation limits both personal and professional development of the female population than growth with equity in the countries of the region under the new technological paradigm, a new study released last week by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

The rate of Internet use among women is on average 8.5 % lower than of men in 10 countries with available information included in the document “Women in the Digital Economy: Overcoming the threshold of inequality”, whose findings have feeded the work of the XII Regional Conference on Women in Latin America and the Caribbean, which was held last week in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The digital economy includes the telecommunications infrastructure - particularly broadband networks - industries of information and communications  technology (ICT) - hardware , software and applications- and the degree of users' digital literacy.

In all countries has increased, in recent years, the proportion of men and women who report using the Internet from any access point , but only in Brazil , Mexico and Uruguay the gender gap narrowed. In the rest of countries widened. The difference between women and men is nearly 5 % in Chile (39.3 % vs. 44 %) , a country that has one of the highest rates of use of this technology. In Peru, meanwhile, 26 % of women and 34.1 % of men say they are users.

This gender digital divide is more common in urban than rural areas and mainly affects older women of all educational levels. In El Salvador the difference between women and men with tertiary education is five points ( 70.3 % versus 75.5 %), while in Honduras is almost three percent (71.2 % and 74 %). In Brazil , on  other hand, 4.3 % of women and 7.4 % of men 65 years older report using internet, the same happen in countries like Costa Rica (3.1 % and 7.1 %) and Ecuador (2.1% and 4.1 % ).
The prevalence of Internet use increases, as well as the income level of households rises, but the gender gap is smaller in those groups where the technology is less accessible. In Uruguay, the least unequal country in this area, 34.5 % of women in the first quintile report using Internet against 63 % in the fifth quintile.

The only situation where inequality is reversed is in the case of women employees, showing Internet use rates higher than those of men. The latter data indicates that having skills for use of ICT can be a powerful tool for the employment of many women.

But, almost half of the women in the region (representing 50.9 % of the population, over 300 million people) have no any link with the labor market: the female economic activity rate reaches 49.8 % ( for male the rate reaches 78.7 % ) and one per every 10 women are employed in domestic service, one of the lowest paid work and less social protection.

Ensuring women's economic autonomy, increasing their labor market participation and recognizing the unpaid work that they perform mostly, are some of the main challenges that the countries of the region are facing, raises the ECLAC. And as  in the digital economy the gender inequalities, present in the rest of society, are reproduced, policies that prevent occupational segregation, wage gaps prevention and promote a fair gender division of labor are necessary.

Full Report (In Spanish):

(Source: CEPAL)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:20:23 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Seventh Annual IGF Meeting was held in Baku, Azerbaijan from 6-9 November 2012. The main theme for the meeting was: ‘Internet Governance for Sustainable Human, Economic and Social Development’.

Development and growth in the modern age is directly associated with the application of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs). At present, the level of application of ICT is among the main indicators of intellectual and scientific potential, transparency in the public administration and the solution of social and economic problems. ICTs are playing an increasingly important role in the achievement of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as a powerful tool to fight poverty, empower women, increase the education level, and improve environmental management.

Considering this pivotal fact, the Government of Azerbaijan pays special attention to the development of information technologies. Azerbaijan’s National ICT Strategy (2003 - 2012) has promoted the widening use of ICT tools to raise efficiency and transparency in the public sector, and recognizes innovation as one of the underlying principles for ICT application. Azerbaijan is also well - known regionally and internationally for its promotion of the information society as a national development priority. Azerbaijan hosted the 7th Internet Governance Forum in 2012 and declared 2013 the Year of Information and Communications Technologies.

Concerted national efforts invested by the Government of Azerbaijan have enabled the country to become one of the best performers among the CIS countries according to the 2012 Global Technology Report by the World Economic Forum. The ICT sector grew twice in size, on average, in the span of every 3 years covering the period of 2004 - 2013.

The Republic of Azerbaijan is a leader among CIS countries when measuring the density of Internet users during the last three years. In 2012, this figure increased from 65 % to 70%. Likewise, the quality of internet services as well as external internet connectivity increased by 2.2 times in 2012. Prices also reduced by approximately 35% compared to 2011 according to the World Economic Forum.

Consequently, given Azerbaijan’s success in creating an enabling ICT policy environment and its demonstrated effectiveness in e-government over the past decade after the establishment of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technologies of the Republic of Azerbaijan (MCIT), the Internet has slowly become an integral part of individual, private and public/state activities. Azerbaijan ranks very high in the region in terms of Internet access. On behalf of the Government, MCIT was fruitfully involved in all IGF events that took place. An up-to- date e-governance portal has been created by the Government of Azerbaijan, which connects 40 line ministries that provide online services to citizens as well as the public and private sector. This enables the government institutions to facilitate fast and quality delivery of e-government services and is considered as a huge step towards the formation of an e-society in the country.

Click here to download the Full Report

(Source: UNPAN)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 11:11:14 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


From 2-4 December 2013, hundreds of leaders and decision-makers in media organisations, civil society actors, governments, UN agencies, business and human rights advocates will gather at Imperial Queens Park hotel in Bangkok, Thailand to evaluate the trends in gender inequalities in the media and formulate collective and creative solutions to reduce gender disparities. The Global Forum on Media and Gender will be hosted by the Kingdom of Thailand National Commission for UNESCO and the Thammasat University.

Objectives of the Forum:
One of the key outputs of this forum will be to set up a Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMG). The purpose of the GAMG is for the media and all other stakeholder groups to stand together for real and sustainable change.

UNESCO and partners will put the spotlight on the need to reduce gender inequalities in media during the Global Forum on Gender and Media being held in Bangkok, Thailand from 2 to 3 December, 2013. The Forum will be an important follow-up to one of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, Women and the Media Diagnosis, and its strategic objectives.

Gender equality and women’s empowerment (GEwe) issues will perhaps be the development priority of the next decade or two. This topic will take marked prominence in the Post 2015 MDGs formulation. According to the report of the thematic consultation, Addressing Inequalities - Post 2015 Development Agenda, “Gender-based discrimination and the denial of the rights of women and girls, remains the single most widespread driver of inequalities in today’s world”.

In the area of media and gender, statistics indicate worrying trends in women's representation in media content, staffing and management.

In taking note of these statistics, UNESCO and partners organized this global forum as part of broader and continuing efforts to empower women and reducing gender inequalities, given the potential of both elements to advance economic and social development. The urgency of this event is reflected not just in the timing but also in the issues to be discussed and the calibre of international stakeholders being brought together to build a coalition to push for action to reduce gender inequities in the media.

On-site and remote participation
During this global event, thousands of stakeholders, participating on-site and from remote locations, will lend their voices, intellectual capacity, collective creativity and ingenuity to the development of comprehensive linking-up of efforts to address the following issues:

- Gender-sensitive policies and strategies in media (particularly PSBs, government-controlled media, private, and community radios – including those online).
- Gender mainstreaming in journalism education.
- Safety of women journalists online and offline.
- Media and information literacy and gender.
- Reporting on issues affecting women including gender-based violence, women in conflict and post-conflict situations.
- Media, legal and regulatory frameworks and national gender polices/strategies.
- Facilitate citizens’ media dialogue on gender equality.
- FOE and regional and global trends: the gender dimensions.

Further Information

Wednesday, October 23, 2013 10:59:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Intel Kenya celebrated the second International Day of the Girl on October 11 by launching a joint initiative targeting Kenyan girls with Akirachix. As a direct result of findings in the groundbreaking “Women and the Web” report released in January, Intel announced She Will Connect, an initiative to reduce the gender and technology gap around the world.

Intel is testing an innovative new model that integrates Internet access with gender and development programming, including a new online gaming platform and digital literacy training with a built-in peer network.

In order to achieve this locally, Intel has announced that it will be collaborating with Akirachix to launch a countrywide initiative that will see more Kenyan girls start to develop technology applications. There will be 2-day free training sessions organized annually for girls interested in coding. The sessions will be limited to 25 girls per class and will be open to all Kenyan girls. The first session will be held on 1-2 November, 2013 at the Akirachix office – ground floor, Bishop Magua Centre.

If you’re a young woman between the ages of 18 and 25, and interested in coding, sign up here to attend the first training on November 1st and 2nd. Spaces are limited, so sign up now!



During a press briefing, Agatha Gikunda, Intel East Africa’s Software and services Lead said, “Diversity is crucial to succeed in new technologies. We are convinced that technology and education have real power to fuel transformative change and hence the reason Intel is collaborating with other industry players such as Akirachix to see as many girls as possible make a mark in the technology world”.

This launch comes after last week’s global announcement by Intel Corporation on a new program dubbed “She Will Connect” that commits to expanding digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries. Intel will begin the initiative in Africa, where the gender gap is the greatest, by aiming to reach 5 million women and reduce the gender gap by 50 percent. To achieve this, Intel will work with a diverse set of partners including global and local NGOs and governments.

Findings from the groundbreaking “Women and the Web” report released by Intel in January this year revealed concrete data on the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for women. The report issued a call to action for stakeholders to double the number of women and girls online in developing countries in three years. She Will Connect demonstrates Intel’s commitment to this action by not only providing digital literacy skills to girls and women, but also by pushing the concept of digital literacy forward through new, innovative and scalable models.

(Source: Akirachix)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:55:14 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Innovation for Girls’ Education is a perfect theme for the 2013 International Day of the Girl Child. It recognizes the importance of preparing girls for a changing world; a world in which technology will play an increasingly significant role. It suggests the need for new ways of working, to provide quality education where ‘business as usual’ has failed. It speaks of the shift in the ‘girls’ education dialogue’ from one of access and learning, to one of empowerment.

This can be seen in the growing number of new initiatives that seek to build girls’ confidence and sense of agency. Many of them have been implemented by UNGEI’s partners and showcased on this dedicated space. In an uncertain and increasingly interconnected world, education has the power to transform people and promote positive, shared values. For girls, education can also transform society, by building the self-confidence of girls and women, improving their position in society and challenging inequalities.

Around the world, governments, civil society and the private sector are introducing innovative approaches to girls’ education. The World We Want platform recently hosted a three week interactive dialogue on Innovating for Girls’ Education, where practitioners shared stories about promising programs that expand access, promote learning, address social and financial barriers or collaborate through new partnerships. This has become a space rich in resources and ideas that can be adapted and implemented to address girls’ education challenges.

…in India
In the slums of Gomtinagar in Luchnow, India, girls from very poor families attend Prerna, an all-girls formal school run by a private NGO (Study Hall Educational Foundation). The school meets in the afternoon to accommodate the needs of girls whose economic circumstances require that they work. Community and parents play an important role in making the school a success. For example, girls’ parents must sign an agreement to protect their girls from child marriage. What is innovative about this school is the main goal. It is not so much about learning outcomes as life outcomes. Their goal is to support girls to become women who see themselves as equal persons having the right to equal participation in an unequal society, and to be equipped with the appropriate skills for such equal participation. Classes from preschool through grade 12 are interactive and activity-based. The girls study gender and empowerment along with science and math, and they are supported by a strong peer and teacher network. So far the results have been impressive with girls staying, achieving and graduating to take up either work or further study.

….in Kenya and Uganda
In Kenya and Uganda, the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), seeks to prevent the dropout of girls from school due to early pregnancy and marriage. The project - Adolescent Sexual & Reproductive Health: Fulfilling African Girls’ Rights - focuses on strengthening awareness, knowledge and skills among teachers, peer educators, community leaders and parents. It applies methods proven to work in FAWE’s approach to girls’ education and their Tuseme youth empowerment clubs. It provides mobile interactive platforms, and support to adolescents in assisting implementation of school re-entry policies for teenage mothers.

…and in Africa
In rural areas of Africa, Camfed works with young people to develop an innovative curriculum, ‘My Better World’, to empower young people to take charge of their well-being. This curriculum is founded on the recognition that a narrow academic focus does not adequately prepare young people for life beyond school. By developing a broad range of qualities such as self-reliance, resilience and problem-solving, young people will be empowered to take ownership of their own well-being; learning to ‘be well’ (have their needs met) and ‘do well’ (act to improve their life or the lives of others). The delivery of My Better World is led by networks of young women who are volunteering to work as Learner Guides. Through a mobile-phone based platform developed by Camfed, the Learner Guides freely connect young people across regions and provide them with learning modules and peer mentoring beyond the classroom.

The International Day of the Girl Child celebrates the importance of girls and how education can be the force that propels them to reach their full potential. It also provides a platform to showcase innovation which breaks boundaries for new partnerships, engages girls and women in the design as well as the delivery of programs, enables girls to achieve new levels of ambition, or extends existing programs to reach marginalized girls.

To help governments, civil society and others to present their innovative work in education, UNGEI launched a Fund for the Documentation of Good Practice in Girls’ Education and Gender Equality which provides an opportunity for good practices to be systematically documented and shared within and between countries and regions. These stories will be collected and showcased on our website.

Furthermore, UNGEI’s new mini-podcast series entitled Changing the World for Girls will highlight the experience of a range of girls’ education advocates, researchers and practitioners. The first in the series will be released in the coming weeks. To learn more about what it takes to educate a girl, we also invite you to view this film where we explore such questions and how best …To Educate a Girl.

UNGEI stands committed to and will continue fight for the right of girls to get an education. We will also continue to support the Global Partnership for Education’s mandate to ensure that all girls complete primary school and go to secondary school in a safe, supportive learning environment.

(Source: UNGEI)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:39:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 declaring 11 October as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

This year, the theme for the day is “Innovating for Girls’ Education”.

Despite remarkable gains in the last decade, millions of girls are still being denied their right to education:

31 million girls of primary school age are out of school. Of these 17 million are expected never to enter school. There are 4 million fewer boys than girls out of school.
Three countries have over a million girls not in school: In Nigeria there are almost five and a half million, Pakistan, over three million, and in Ethiopia, over one million girls out of school.

There are also 34 million female adolescents out of school, missing out on the chance to learn vital skills for work and life.

Unless we make quality education for all a priority, these girls will not acquire the skills they need to transition to young adulthood, secure stable employment, understand and exercise their rights as citizens, and continue learning throughout life.

Finally, girls who do not complete an education are more likely to join the ranks of the illiterate women that represent two-thirds of the 774 million illiterate people in the world.

..we must focus where needs are greatest, we must help countries accelerate towards 2015, and we must shape a new agenda to follow. This agenda should build on achievements and tackle new challenges. This must start with education. There have been great advances in enrolment since 2000, but 57 million children remain out of school. We need a new goal for education – focusing on equity and quality, throughout life, especially for girls and women”. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the General Assembly Special Event on MDGs, New York, 25 September 2013.
 
With girls constituting the majority of out of school children, gender equality and girls’ education remain a central concern in initiatives undertaken under GEFI’s umbrella which aim to reach countries and groups left behind.

Further Information

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:23:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
What is the report on women in leadership positions?

The Report on women and men in leadership positions in the European Union 2013 looks at the current situation and recent progress for gender balance across a range of decision-making positions in the public and private sectors, including business, financial institutions, politics, civil service and the judiciary.

The report is, as far as possible, based on quantitative analysis of the situation with the majority of data being drawn from the European Commission database on women and men in decision-making, which can be consulted online. The database includes comparable data for EU Member States from 2003 onwards. Where relevant, 2003 is therefore used as the starting point for analysis of developments through time.

What are the main conclusions on women on boards?

The most recent figures show that women account for 16.6%, or one in six, of board members of the largest publicly listed companies in the EU-27. The highest levels of female representation on boards occurs in Finland (29.1%) and Latvia (29%), closely followed by France (26.8%) and Sweden (26.5%).

Figure 1: Representation of women and men on the boards of large listed companies, April 2013

Source: European Commission, Database on women and men in decision-making

In the six months covered by today's report on women and men in leadership positions (October 2012-April 2013), an increase in the share of women on company boards has been recorded in 20 Member States. The largest increases occurred in Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria. The share of women on boards declined in Romania, Lithuania, Poland, Malta, Greece, Portugal and the UK.

Figure 2: Change in the share of women on boards by country, October 2012 - April 2013


Source: European Commission, Database on women and men in decision-making.

The latest EU-wide figure of 16.6% represents a 0.9 percentage point (pp) increase in the six months from October 2012 or an annual equivalent rate of 1.7 pp, down from the rate of 2.2 pp between 2011 and 2012.

In fact, since 2010, when the European Commission published its Strategy for Equality between Women and Men (2010-2015) and first raised the prospect of targeted initiatives to address the under-representation of women in decision-making positions, the share of women on boards has risen by 4.8 pp at an average rate of 1.9 pp/year, almost four times the rate of progress from 2003 to 2010 (0.5 pp/year). This acceleration has been further fuelled by the women on boards proposal adopted by the European Commission on 14 November 2012 (IP/12/1205 and MEMO/12/860), which set a 40% objective for women on boards based on qualification. Recent developments also reflect the impact of EU-wide discussions about the need for a targeted intervention to raise the number of women on boards.

Figure 3: Share of women on the boards of large listed companies, EU-27, 2010-2013: Continuing Progress


It is important to note that the most significant developments since 2010 have largely occurred in countries where binding legislation has already been adopted, such as France (+ 14.4 pp to reach 26.8%), the Netherlands (+8.7 pp to reach 23.6%) and Italy (+8.4 pp to reach 12.9%). This further emphasises the importance of regulatory pressure for achieving tangible results.

Figure 4: Overview of some of the key drivers of progress since 2010:


Despite the progress made at board level, there are still very few large companies with a woman Chairperson or Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The latest figures show that of the 587 EU companies covered by the Commission database just 26 are chaired by a woman (4.4%) and even fewer - 16 or 2.7% - have a female CEO. In just over half of EU Member States (14) no companies in the sample have a woman Chairperson and a similar number (but not the same countries) have no companies with a woman CEO

Figure 5: Share of women amongst board chairs and CEOs of large companies, April 2013


Further details

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 4:01:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The European Parliament’s Committees on Legal Affairs (JURI) and Women’s Rights & Gender Equality (FEMM) have today voted (40 for, 9 against and 2 abstentions) to support a proposal by the European Commission to address the gender imbalance on company boards in Europe. With this vote, the European Parliament (which decides with the Council of Ministers on an equal footing on this proposal), paves the way for further progress of the draft law in the EU legislative process.

The vote coincides with a new report on women in decision-making, released by the European Commission today, including figures on women on boards at major publicly listed companies in the EU. The latest figures (from April 2013) show that the share of women on boards has increased to 16.6% (from 15.8% in October 2012). The figures also show the different levels of representation amongst non-executive directors (17.6% women up from 16.7% in October 2012) and senior executives (11% up from 10.2%).

"Regulatory pressure works. The cracks are starting to show on the glass ceiling. More and more companies are competing to attract the best female talent. They know that if they want to remain competitive in a globalised economy they cannot afford to ignore the skills and talent of women", said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner. "The example has been set by countries such as France and Italy, who have adopted legislation and are starting to record significant progress. I would also like to thank the rapporteurs Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou and Evelyn Regner for their tireless efforts and support on the Commission's proposal. We have got the ball rolling. I will continue working with the Parliament and the Council to make swift progress on the draft law which places qualification and merit centre stage".

These are main points from the report voted today by the JURI and FEMM Committees:
   - It confirms the Commission's approach to focus on a transparent and fair selection procedure (so-called "procedural quota") rather than introducing a fixed quantitative quota.
  - Small and medium-sized enterprises remain excluded from the scope of the directive but Member States are invited to support and incentivise them to significantly improve the gender balance at all levels of management and on boards.
  - There will be no possibility for Member States to exempt companies from the Directive where members of the underrepresented sex make up less than 10% of the workforce.
  - It strengthens the provision on sanctions by adding a number of sanctions that should be obligatory, rather than indicative, as the Commission has proposed. Sanctions for failure to respect the provisions concerning selection procedures for board members should include the exclusion from public procurement and the partial exclusion from the award of funding from the European structural funds, the two Committees say.

Next Steps: In order to become law, the Commission's proposal needs to be adopted jointly by the European Parliament and by the EU Member States in the Council (which votes by qualified majority). Todays' decisive vote follows positive opinions on the initiative from three other Parliament committees: the Employment (EMPL), Internal Market (IMCO) and Economic Affairs (ECON) Committees (MEMO/13/672). The JURI and FEMM committees, which are jointly responsible for piloting the proposal through the Parliament, have now adopted their report. This will pass to the European Parliament’s plenary session for a vote expected in November.

The Council, which on this proposal decides on an equal footing with the European Parliament, took stock of progress achieved under the Irish Presidency at the meeting of Employment and Social Affairs ministers (EPSCO Council) on 20 June 2013 (MEMO/13/584). The Lithuanian Presidency is now pursuing the discussions further.

Further Information

Tuesday, October 15, 2013 12:09:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, October 10, 2013


The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana urges young people to embrace the use of ICT. He called upon girls to welcome ICT to maximize opportunities it offers.

This has been revealed during an ICT Literacy and Awareness campaign in Nyamagabe District in Southern Province during the two days campaign on Thursday and Friday where hundreds of girls trained in ICT.

Girls’ models in ICT explained their sisters of different secondary schools in Nyamagabe the importance of embracing ICT, sharing their expertise and incite them to love technology.

Minister Nsengimana at that occasion stated that the number of girls in ICT sectors is still low, which pushed the ministry to focus more on empowering girls to embrace technology. He called upon girls to welcome ICT to maximize opportunities it offers.

“Knowledge is power and wealth”. he reiterated that opportunities of ICT must reach all sectors of Rwandans regardless economy, level of education, location, and that none could lose its opportunities. He added that “Our economy will no longer bas on raw power but will be knowledge based”.

He called upon all residents to embrace it for their benefits and their own development. He commended private sectors for being good partners with the government to foster Rwandans technological level. “As we foster ICT, we develop our economy and self-reliance”, he noted.

Minister pointed out that ICT offers many chances that were not there in past. “ICT gives opportunities that were not in past and gives new jobs that were not created. We want to make awareness of these opportunities”, Minister Nsengimana stressed.

Lillian Uwineza, 17, a student at TTC Mbuga stressed that using ICT helps them to learn more; “Now I’m able to surf on the internet and I can gain more knowledge and excel in the class”.

The purpose of this campaign is to drive the awareness and usage of ICT services, content and applications, to increase the ICT Literacy, educate and train Rwandans and business people on the potential of ICT to drive competitiveness, efficiency, transparency as well as civic participation.

The government has invested heavily in information and communications technology (ICT). Since the inception of the first national ICT strategy and plan in 2000, Rwanda has significantly transformed the way business and society uses technology.

The Ministry of Youth and ICT in collaboration with other Ministries as well as its various stakeholders in ICT promotion adopted the five-year ICT literacy awareness campaign. This campaign has been officially launched in January in Rulindo District, Northern Province. So far one District per province across Rwanda hosted this campaign.

(Source: Ministry of Youth and ICT - Rwanda)

Thursday, October 10, 2013 10:34:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, October 07, 2013
Intel follows 'Women and the Web' Report with action, furthers Commitment to educating Women and Girls in Developing Countries.

Last week Intel Corporation announced "She Will Connect", a new program that commits to expanding digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries. Intel will begin the initiative in Africa, where the gender gap is the greatest, by aiming to reach 5 million women and reduce the gender gap by 50 percent. To achieve this, Intel will work with a diverse set of partners including global and local NGOs and governments.

Findings from the groundbreaking "Women and the Web" report released by Intel in January revealed concrete data on the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for women. The report issued a call to action for stakeholders to double the number of women and girls online in developing countries in three years. She Will Connect demonstrates Intel's commitment to this action by not only providing digital literacy skills to girls and women, but also by pushing the concept of digital literacy forward through new, innovative and scalable models.

"The Internet has transformed the lives of billions of people", said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "It functions as a gateway to ideas, resources and opportunities that never could have been realized before, but our research shows that girls and women are being left behind. We believe that closing the Internet gender gap has tremendous potential to empower women and enrich their lives as well as all the lives they touch".

In conjunction with She Will Connect, Intel pledged a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action and is celebrating the United Nations' second International Day of the Girl on October 11. The theme for this year's International Day of the Girl emphasizes the importance of girls' education worldwide.

"When we think about what the world is going to look like in the coming 20 years, we have to do more to make sure that women as well as men, girls as well as boys are empowered to use new technology to further their own aspirations", said Secretary Hillary Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative 2013 annual meeting last week.

"She Will Connect" will test a new model that integrates digital literacy with gender and development programming targeting women and girls:

- Online Gaming Platform – Intel is developing an online gaming platform to innovate the delivery of digital literacy content through an interactive, engaging approach for smartphones and tablets in a game-infused environment. With the gaming platform, learning can take place in a mediated environment, individually, across devices and in the context of a peer network.

-Peer Network – Intel and World Pulse are working together to integrate World Pulse's digital empowerment training into existing digital literacy programs and connect women to a safe and supportive peer network. Through the World Pulse platform, women can exchange ideas, find support and mentorship, and obtain relevant content tailored for women. This innovative approach will push the field of digital literacy so learning can take place not only as an individual in a shared computing environment but also through peers.

Beyond Africa, Intel is expanding on its ongoing commitment to empower girls and women globally, with continued work in India with a goal to reach 1 million women with Intel's Easy Steps digital literacy training program in the next year. In Latin America, Intel is partnering with several governments and organizations providing digital literacy training with a special focus on fostering entrepreneurial skills in Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

In addition to launching "She Will Connect", Intel is celebrating International Day of the Girl by building on its strong culture of employee volunteerism for Global Giveback Day. Championed by leaders from the Intel Network of Executive Women and the Women at Intel Network, employees will collaborate with organizations in support of education and empowerment of girls and women. Intel is also hosting screenings of the transformational film Girl Rising around the world on October 11 to raise global visibility about the importance of educating girls.

(Source: Intel Newsroom)

Monday, October 07, 2013 2:40:16 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


After success in Workshop on ASEAN Community e-Classroom that hold during 10-12 July 2013. Ministry of Information and Communication Technology of Thailand has a strong intention to push this project forward by held “Training of ASEAN Community e-Classroom” in 4-8 November 2013.

This training has main objective to teach all group leaders to use ASEAN Community e-Classroom (www.asean-eclass.org) to develop their knowledge and use this e-Class to expend knowledge to all kind of people especially people with disability, women and elderly.

(Source: Asean- eclass)

Monday, October 07, 2013 2:26:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, September 27, 2013

International Day of the Girl Child 2013 – Innovating for Girls' Education
“Innovating for Girls’ Education” E-discussion on the World We Want platform
You are invited to participate in this new e-discussion!
Join the conversation by registering at http://worldwewant2015.org/education2015
Go to Week One discussion and participate: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/node/391846

The fulfillment of girls’ right to education is first and foremost an obligation and moral imperative. There is overwhelming evidence that girls’ education, especially at the secondary level, is a powerful transformative force for societies and girls themselves. While there has been significant progress in improving girls’ access to education over the last two decades, many girls, particularly the most marginalized, continue to be deprived of this basic right. Girls in many countries are still unable to attend school and complete their education due to safety-related, financial, institutional and cultural barriers. When girls are in school, perceived low returns from poor quality of education, low aspirations, or household chores and other responsibilities keep them from attending school or from achieving adequate learning outcomes.

Innovation will be an important strategy in addressing the nature and scale of barriers girls continue to face and in ensuring they receive an education commensurate with the challenges of the 21st century. Smart and creative use of technology is one route to overcoming gender barriers to girls’ learning and achievement, but innovation in partnerships, policies, resource utilization, community mobilization, and most of all, the engagement of young people themselves, can be important catalyzing forces.

International Day of the Girl Child is an international observance day declared by the United Nations in 2011 and celebrated annually on 11 October. In recognition of the importance of fresh and creative perspectives to propel girls’ education forward, the theme of International Day of the Girl Child for 2013 will be: Innovating for Girls’ Education. UNICEF as a leading agency for the coordination of the theme and related events is starting a new e-discussion with a similar theme, on the World We Want online platform. The discussion will be coordinated by the Youth Advocacy Group of the United Nations Global Education First Initiative (GEFI).

The e-discussion aims to gather and learn about innovative approaches, ideas and solutions from different regions, countries and communities that help improve girls' education and their learning outcomes, particularly of those most disadvantaged. The e-discussion will be facilitated by expert moderators and will run for three weeks from 16 September to 6 October, each week covering a new theme. The theme of Week One is Innovation in Education Infrastructure.

How can I participate? After you register online, simply click on the E-Discussion: Innovating for Girls' Education – WEEK ONE (and consecutive weeks). Contribute by leaving your views, ideas and stories of innovative solutions in a new Comment window.
Join the conversation by registering here: http://www.worldwewant2015.org/education2015

(Source: Women Watch)

Friday, September 27, 2013 4:16:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, September 26, 2013
Most promising ‘emerging market’ could turn out to be women
A new report released today by the Broadband Commission Working Group on Broadband and Gender reveals a ‘significant and pervasive’ ‘tech gap’ in access to information and communication technologies (ICTs). Globally, the report estimates that there are currently 200 million fewer women online than men, and warns that the gap could grow to 350 million within the next three years if action is not taken.

Entitled Doubling Digital Opportunities: Enhancing the Inclusion of Women & Girls in the Information Society, the report brings together extensive research from UN agencies, Commission members and partners from industry, government and civil society, to create the first comprehensive global snapshot of broadband access by gender. It was officially launched by Helen Clark, Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), who has led the Working Group since its establishment at the 6th meeting of the Broadband Commission in New York last September.

The report reveals that around the world, women are coming online later and more slowly than men. Of the world’s 2.8 billion Internet users, 1.3 billion are women, compared with 1.5 billion men. While the gap between male and female users is relatively small in OECD nations, it widens rapidly in the developing world, where expensive, ‘high status’ ICTs like computers are often reserved for use by men. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, the report’s authors estimate that there are only half the number of women connected as men.

Worldwide, women are also on average 21% less likely to own a mobile phone – representing a mobile gender gap of 300 million, equating to US$13 billion in potential missed revenues for the mobile sector.

“This new report provides an overview of opportunities for advancing women’s empowerment, gender equality and inclusion in an era of rapid technological transformation”, said Helen Clark. “It calls for social and technological inclusion and citizens’ participation, explaining the societal and economic benefits of providing access to broadband and ICTs to women, small entrepreneurs and the most vulnerable populations. Most importantly, this report shows ways in which we can further advance the sustainable development agenda by promoting the use of new technologies in support of gender equality and women’s empowerment”.

The report speculates that today’s untapped pool of female users could also represent a market opportunity for device makers, network operators, and software and app developers that might equal or even outstrip the impact of large emerging markets like China or India.

“Promoting women’s access to ICTs – and particularly broadband – should be central to the post-2015 global development agenda”, said Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General and co-Vice Chair of the Broadband Commission. “The mobile miracle has demonstrated the power of ICTs in driving social and economic growth, but this important new report reveals a worrying ‘gender gap’ in access. We need to make sure that all people – and most crucially today’s younger generation – have equitable access to ICTs. I believe it is in the interest of every government to urgently strive to redress this imbalance”.

Research highlighted in the report indicates that, in developing countries, every 10% increase in access to broadband translates to a 1.38% growth in GDP. That means that bringing an additional 600 million women and girls online could boost global GDP by as much as US$18 billion.

The report also emphasizes the importance of encouraging more girls to pursue ICT careers. By 2015, it is estimated that 90% of formal employment across all sectors will require ICT skills. Professionals with computer science degrees can expect to earn salaries similar to doctors or lawyers – yet even in developed economies, women now account for fewer than 20% of ICT specialists.

ITU’s ‘Girls in ICT Day’, established in 2010, aims to raise awareness among school-age girls of the exciting prospects a career in ICT can offer. This year, over 130 countries held Girls in ICT Day events, supported by partners including Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, ICT Qatar, Microsoft, the European Commission and many more. To help older women get online and take advantage of new technologies, ITU also has a partnership with Telecentre.org which is on track to train one million women in ICT skills by the end of this year.
 
The Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender was initially proposed in 2012 by Geena Davis, actor, advocate and ITU’s Special Envoy on Women and Girls. The group’s first face-to-face meeting in Mexico City in March 2013 attracted 69 Commissioners, special representatives and guest experts, making it the best-attended Working Group of the Commission to date. The Group held its second face-to-face meeting in New York on 20 September, just ahead of the full meeting of the Commission. It was attended by Commissioners, representatives and special high-level guests, included Nigerian Minister for Communication Technology Omobola Johnson and Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

In addition to releasing the new report on Broadband and Gender, the Broadband Commission also released the second edition of its global snapshot of broadband deployment, entitled The State of Broadband 2013. The report features country-by-country rankings tracking countries’ performance against the four broadband targets set by the Commission in 2011, as well as a new gender-related target set by the Working Group in March, 2013.

Photos of the full meeting of the Commission and the Working Group on Gender can be viewed and downloaded from Flickr at: http://bit.ly/K5rJsS
Broadcast-quality footage can be previewed and downloaded from ITU’s Virtual Video Newsroom at: www.itu.int/en/newsroom/Pages/videos.aspx

Video can be viewed on ITU's YouTube Channel at: http://bit.ly/Z37E8A

Photos of the full meeting of the Commission can be viewed and downloaded from Flickr at: http://bit.ly/18WPPij

Photos from the meeting of the Working Group on Gender can be viewed and downloaded at: http://bit.ly/1gyFUCo

Broadcast-quality footage can be previewed and downloaded from ITU’s Virtual Video Newsroom at: www.itu.int/en/newsroom/Pages/videos.aspx

Video can be viewed on ITU's YouTube Channel at: http://bit.ly/Z37E8A

The full report of the Working Group on Gender can be viewed at: http://www.broadbandcommission.org/Documents/working-groups/bb-doubling-digital-2013.pdf

For more information on the Broadband Commission, visit: www.broadbandcommission.org
 
Follow the Broadband Commission on Facebook: www.facebook.com/broadbandcommission

Follow the Broadband Commission on Twitter: www.itu.int/twitter

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:43:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


We want more… Women in Tech!
More women for technology industries. Why do women rarely choose a career path in technology? Why are girls not interested in sciences and mathematics in school? Maybe we are lacking inspirational female role models from the top of the technology world. Technology companies are in great need of the skills and knowledge of women.
Women In Tech 2013 Forum is organised for the first time to get together all men and women with a keen interest in the future of business and technology. The forum aims to discuss how women could have a larger role in creating success stories in these fields.

The event presents speeches by inspirational women from the top of international technology organisations (e.g. Microsoft and Lexus International). The theme is discussed further in workshops hosted by company and university representatives. In addition, outcomes of recent studies will be presented at the event.

Program of the event (.pdf)

Date: 15.10.2013, 09:00 – 18:00

Location: Dipoli, Otakaari 24, Espoo, Finland

Organizer: MyTech.fi

Registration
FULLY BOOK FOR NOW. The event is free of charge.
For more information: Piia Simpanen, The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, piia.simpanen@techind.fi

(Source: MyTech)

Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:15:58 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The Department of Communications has partnered with Neotel and Huawei to promote ICT skills among girls. Neotel, in partnership with the Department of Communications (DOC), Gauteng Department of Education and Huawei, announced last week the winners of the IgniteIT ICT Schools Competition.



This saw three Gauteng schools - Kingsway Secondary School, Phomolong Secondary School and Willowmoore High School – walk away with R200 000 worth of prizes, including an ICT laboratory and e-class solutions with interactive boards, projectors, LCD screens, routers and related equipment, sponsored by Huawei.

According to Huawei regional corporate communications manager Annette Mutuku, the IgniteIT ICT competition aims to develop and encourage ICT skills among girls, and break down barriers that prevent women from entering a predominantly male industry.

According to recent statistics provided by the Institute of Information Technology Professionals VP and director Moira de Roche, women comprise 55% of the total South African workforce, but only 20% of the ICT workforce.

Mutuku explains the competition required learners to use ICT to find a solution for challenges faced in their communities. "It was interesting how many learners chose road-safety as their focus", she says. The winning entry by Kingsway Secondary School was titled "A trans media story-telling report on distracted driving". Mutuku says the ideas showcased by the students needed to be practical and possible to implement.

Christina Naidoo, COO of Huawei SA, says the IgniteIT competition is just one of the ways Huawei commits to boost women in ICT. "Huawei also gives preference to female candidates in selecting managers when candidates' qualifications are on an equal footing", says Naidoo. "In SA currently, our female staff have taken up key management positions such as COO and regional directors, among others, as a testament of our promoting women in ICT".

Neotel MD and CEO, Sunil Joshi, echoes Naidoo's statement, saying Neotel recognises the shortage of skills in the ICT sector and has initiated a number of projects to encourage youth and young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to consider career choices in the sector.

(Source: ITWeb)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 10:18:04 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nigeria is doing every thing possible to ensure that the divide between women and men in technology is adequately bridged. This has resulted in many organisations, including Women in Technology in Nigeria, WITIN, Women's Technology Empowerment Centre, Girls in ICT, Girls in Technology, among others, which crusade for women and the girl child to get actively involved in ICT.

However, the women's technology empowerment centre recently decided to put action to the crusade by setting up a technology camp for girls in ICT. The camp is meant to provide a two-week technology education and mentoring programme to help girls develop an early interest in computers and other information technology services. Almost immediately after the introduction of the initiative, leading global chip makers, Intel Corporation quickly adopted it.

Intel said it was not hard for it to see prospect in the initiative considering that it has over the years supported several girl-child education initiatives investing in technology-based programmes in education and digital literacy, and has championed the empowerment of women and girls, around the world. Working together with its wide range of partners across Africa and the world, Intel has created and supported innovative solutions to remove gender-based barriers to education and technology, as well as building a flourishing future filled with opportunities for girls and women.

Speaking on the initiative, the Executive Director of the Women's Technology Empowerment Centre Ms Oreoluwa Somolu, explained that the technology camp examines a variety of strategies that enable female students maximize their learning experiences and make them better equipped to pursue careers in technology.
According to her, "In the long term, we hope to achieve a significant increase in the number of technology literate Nigerian women that will ultimately deploy the knowledge they have for productive learning, professional and leadership activities. We also hope to increase the number of women creating and developing new technology and content", She stated.

The camp throws its doors open to secondary school students all over Nigeria and involving them in activities such as graphic design, movie-making, web design and introduction to programming. During the camp, the girls also participate in technology workshops and leadership activities for an all-round experience.
Also, Country Manager, Intel, Olubunmi Ekundare said: "Here at Intel, we believe that girls, when afforded the opportunity, can make more significant impact around the globe through positive leadership and impact in and around their communities and indeed the world".

According to him, Intel believes that access to education and technology must become a global, fundamental right for girls and women. Corroborating him, Marketing and Public Relations Manager, Intel West Africa, Adim Isiakpona stated that "here at Intel, we also believe that access to technology education and its opportunities are the keys that will open the doors to profitable careers and an avenue for these girls to give back to their respective fields in Science and Technology”.

(Source: All Africa)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 9:59:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Sunday, September 08, 2013

Four institutions of the capital began three training workshops for facilitators and supervisors of digital rooms of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel), in order to engage staff of these centers in the fight for the eradication of violence against women in cyberspace (Internet network).

The two workshops was conducted by the Dominican National Commission for UNESCO (CNDU) and the Centre of Research for Female Action (CIPAF), with the support of the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (Indotel) and the National Commission for the Society Information and Knowledge (CNSIC).

The workshops, called "Computer Training Centers (ITC) in the fight against gender violence", are part of the Project "Stop Violence: The contribution of ICTs to end violence against women in the Dominican Republic" , sponsored by UNESCO in the country.

The training sessions focused in the issues of violence against women as an issue of power and inequality, and the role of CCI computer centers in the development of the community while working with a gender perspective, among others.

The workshops, which are held in the multipurpose room of Indotel, will take three days and involved more than 20 supervisors and facilitators of digital screens in the National District and Santo Domingo province.

(Source: CNSIC)

Saturday, September 07, 2013 11:33:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The ICT4Ag conference will take place in Kigali, Rwanda, in November, discussing the ICT future of agriculture. 




Intending to spark conversation on the ICT influence on value chains, advocacy and policy development, the conference will promote the establishment of a dynamic and enabling environment in agricultural areas.

From November 4 to 8 farming, fisheries and livestock fields are invited to participate in the discovery of new innovations, learning about useful technology and sharing experiences with global stakeholders.

In this preparation meeting the Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana said that Farmers in Rwanda want to know how they can use new and existing ICT tools to boost their production.

Minister Nsengimana urges agriculture & ICT experts to see how new technologies can support the entire chain in agriculture process

On the other hand the Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Agnes Kalibata said that new solutions will be introduced to boost agriculture sector in Rwanda; added that Youth will be able to bring new ideas which will be very useful to the whole African continent.

Over 400 participants are expected. Representing the public and private sector in Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific and further afield, delegates will discuss how increased investment and adoption of ICTs in the agricultural sector will contribute to improved value chains and more effective advocacy and policy processes in agricultural and rural development (ARD).

Issues related to ICT trends and their impact on ARD, capacity building, enabling environments, scaling up and sustainability will also be discussed.

Participants include a variety of industry members such as academics, entrepreneurs, developers and operators.

Aimed at the media, a competition about the promotion of industry-based success stories was launched to discuss the enabling environment, gender main streaming through ICT and the promotion of agribusiness through ICT.

(Source: Ministry of Youth and ICT of Rwanda)

Saturday, September 07, 2013 11:00:07 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 29, 2013

Google has announced a grant offering female journalists and women in computer science, computer engineering or technical fields from Africa, Europe and the Middle East support to attend tech conferences.

The search giant will cater for travel as well as entry to various tech conferences in what the company says is an ongoing programme to encourage women to excel in computing and technology.

“As part of Google’s ongoing commitment to encourage women to excel in computing and technology, we are pleased to offer Women in Tech Conference and Travel Grants for female computer scientists”, read the announcement.

The grants will be paid after the conference and will be up to EUR 1,000 (US$1,300) with eligible conferences including the JSConf to be held in Berlin in September, Grace Hopper conference, set for October in Minneapolis, the Flossie conference to be held in Malta, in September, and Velocity conference, to be held in London, in November.
Google has placed deadlines from when the female journalists must apply, with the deadline for JSConf being August 18, Grace Hopper August 22, Flossie October 4, and Velocity conference October 6.

Google added that all applicants must have a strong academic background with demonstrated leadership ability.

(Source: Humanipo)

Thursday, August 29, 2013 10:11:08 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The report has been realized for the Millennia2015 International Conference, UNESCO, Paris, 3-6 Decem ber 2012. This work is a collaborative and participative contribution to the Foresight Research on the variable V08 “Women and eHealth: connected medical knowledge benefiting all”, conducted at the Destree Institute, Namur, Belgium and provides the results of the investigation on Women, Health and ICTs.

Based on the data collected, the study has considered four dimensions of the roles of women in eHealth:

1. Women as Beneficiaries (WB): Women are at the core of family healthcare in communities and have the greatest need to have access to and use ICTs for their personal health and that of their family members.
2. Women as Healthcare Professionals (WHP): Women are at the frontline, of family care in their role as healthcare workers in communities. They require ICTs to facilitate effective communication with other healthcare workers, with doctors, and patients.
3. Women as ICT professionals (WICT): Women are the engineers and technicians who develop innovative and adapted devices and applications that help reach the most isolated settings and communities.
4. Women as Leaders (WL): Women advocate at all levels, from raising new opportunities to partnering with the private sector, collaborating and networking, improving funding mechanisms, and leading eHealth initiatives in communities.

Proposed ICT Solutions
1. Radios and Televisions: WB, WHP
Radios and TVs continue to play a major role in the dissemination of health information and should be incorporated with mobile phones and Internet services to reach more women.
2. Mobiles, tablets, and other electronic devices: WB, WHP
mHealth or mobile health shows interesting results but remains limited to pilot projects that hardly expand at national and regional levels. Most women who received health related SMSs on their mobile phones prefer messages delivered by voice, using voice commands. An example of this speech-to-text application is the iPhone’s “Siri”, in which the user only has to be able to speak, not to read or write. Incoming messages could have a text-to-speech option, so that messages are “read” out loud to those unable to read.
3. Telemedicine: WHP
Telemedicine remains a “male” sector at all levels: medical, technical, and engineering. Women are beneficiaries as patients where such services are made available, yet just a few female doctors, nurses or midwives are active in Telemedicine services.
4. Free Call Lines: WB
Many WeHealth members emphasized the need to promote the adoption of free call lines that enable women to reach health centers and health service workers. These lines can be used in particular to support women living in difficult situations, such as domestic violence, natural disasters, war/conflicts, and as refugees.
5. Alternative energy solutions: WB
Where energy is scarce or unreliable, local solutions using solar or wind power show promise. Young girls in India have found a urine-based solution to provide enough energy for mobile phones.
Health Information.
6. One of the most cited areas of interest to women (WB) is receiving regular information on maternal and child health, family health, disease control, HIV/AIDS, malaria,
cancer and vaccination.
Full report

(Source: ECWT)

Thursday, August 29, 2013 9:58:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 22, 2013


Multilateral Project Co- funded by the European Comission, under LLP Programme / Comenius: http://ictgogirls.eu/
The main goal of the Project is to empowering girls with the knowledge, skills and values to help them be able to create future opportunities for innovation and quality ICT related employment.

Period: 01/11/2012 - 31/10/2014 (24 months).

The experts behind this project belong to 7 institutions from 5 European Contries:
University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), Die Berater (Austria), Spoleczna Akademia Nauk (Poland), Institute Fraunhoffer IAO-Stuttgart Uni (Germany), CVO Antwerpen-Zuid (Belgium) and Donau-Universitat Krems (Austria).

Objectives:
- Produce a methodology and learning toolkit for secondary schools to promote ICT and entrepreneurship among their female students.
- Improve teachers methodologies to promote entrepreneurship and ICT skills among schools girls and deliver them support tools.
- Increase ICT skills for educational issues among schools girls.
- Show the empowerment potential of ICTs to girls in order to face their future choices in studies and work.
- Improve the following cross- curricular skills: Initiative, group work, language learning.
- Encourage cooperation between the worlds of education, training and work.
- Establish a sustainability plan involving business, ICT related institutions.

Look for more information here: http://www.slideshare.net/elearningcesga/ict-gogirls-project
or visit https://www.facebook.com/ICTGoGirls
Any question:
Maria R. Malmierca, coordinator: mjrm@cesga.es

(Source: CESGA)

Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:50:05 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Gauteng MEC for Education, Barbara Creecy urged girl learners to take up careers in Science and Technology when she addressed the Girl Learner Seminar Programme at Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, on  August 13, 2013.

As part of Women's Month celebrations, Sci-Bono has brought 1 600 girl learners from schools around Gauteng for a two-day Girl Learner Seminar. The invited learners will interact with women role models from industry and academia. There will be presentations and small group discussions aimed at encouraging and educating the girls on how to set personal goals and tackle some of the obstacles they might face in developing future careers.

Creecy urged girls to plan their post-school careers and to work hard to achieve success in the world of work. Highlighting the importance of science and technology to the economy, she encouraged girls to consider careers in this area.

She also called on girl learners to take advantage of the many opportunities in the science and technical fields in South Africa, because of the serious lack of skills in these sectors of the economy. Creecy promised that the Gauteng Department of Education (GDE) would support girl learners who strived to perform well despite their backgrounds.

"There are many examples of women and young girls that have succeeded despite obstacles, because they are focused and determined to beat the challenges. What you achieve depends less on your background than on how hard you are prepared to work to be successful, despite the obstacles you may have to face", Creecy said.
She added: "There are plenty opportunities available for those learners who are prepared to strive for success. The GDE offers bursaries to the top learners in all our priority schools. The Gauteng City Region Academy (GCRA) has many additional bursaries available for learners. So, if you make the effort, we will be ready to support you and assist you to go all the way".

Creecy said that it was worth noting that in 2011, there were 14 316 girls who wrote the physical science exam. Over 57% passed and 653 girls achieved distinctions. In 2012, the number of girls writing physical science increased to 15 297 and the pass rate improved to just under 69% with 600 distinctions.

Creecy said that there should be no doubt about girls' abilities to excel in the sciences. The successful women scientists that were participating in the event were proof of important contribution that South African women are making to science. The next generation of women in science will have the opportunity to do even more.

Further details

Thursday, August 22, 2013 10:41:56 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, August 15, 2013
In recognition of International Youth Day, Microsoft introduced on 12 August, the 4Afrika Scholarship program, as part of its 4Afrika Initiative, through which it will provide mentorship, leadership and technical training, certification, university-level education, and employment opportunities for promising African students.

Mentorship will be provided by Microsoft employees from around the world, and employment opportunities will include internships and both part-time and full-time jobs within Microsoft, as well as with the company’s more than 10,000 partners across Africa.

Through the company’s 4Afrika Initiative and YouthSpark program, Microsoft has committed to helping millions of Africans get critical skills for entrepreneurship and employability. The 4Afrika Scholarship program is one way the company intends to meet that goal, by helping ensure that promising youth have access to the education, resources and skills they need to succeed, regardless of their financial situations. To help redress gender disparity in higher education in Africa, the company is actively encouraging young women to apply.

Microsoft also announced that in the coming year it will provide 4Afrika Scholarships to 1,000 youth to pursue associate degrees in computer science and business administration with the first participating higher-education institution, University of the People. The institution is an online university dedicated to the democratization of higher education, which is affiliated with the United Nations, the Clinton Global Initiative, New York University and the Yale Law School Information Society Project.

“Together with participating education institutions, Microsoft’s goal with the 4Afrika Scholarship program is to level the playing field for talented young African minds who might not otherwise have the resources, enabling them to get the education and skills they need to thrive in technology-related fields”, said Patrick Onwumere, director of youth enablement, Microsoft 4Afrika. “The 4Afrika Initiative was designed to help ensure that Africa can become globally competitive, and investing in our highly motivated youth is a critical step toward making that a reality”.

Students wanting to apply for these first 4Afrika Scholarships to attend University of the People must be at least 18 years old, have a high school diploma and be proficient in English, since all coursework is taught in English. They must also have access to the Internet to participate in the online classes. To help address the connectivity issue, the company is making working space available in its Microsoft Innovation Centers in Tunisia, Tanzania, Uganda and Botswana for successful applicants near those locations. In addition, Microsoft is working with various partner hubs across Africa to make similar arrangements for students in other locations.

“University of the People works hard to ensure that university-level education is a possibility for the masses, and through the 4Afrika Scholarship program, Microsoft is helping us extend that possibility even further in Africa”, said Shai Reshef, president, University of the People. “We are proud to be working with Microsoft to help create amazing opportunities and open new doors for Africa’s youth”.

Applications for 4Afrika Scholarships to University of the People can be submitted online at http://www.uopeople.org/4afrika. The first 4Afrika Scholarship students will begin classes in November 2013. Further information about the 4Afrika Scholarship program is available at http://www.youth4afrika.com.

(Source: IT News Africa)

Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:57:24 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Over 48 girls from different secondary schools across the country received training on the use of ICT's at Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in a programme dubbed Camp TechKobwa.



The five day training program organized by Peace Corps in partnership with the Ministry of Youth and ICT was closed on Friday last week.
Lyla Fujiwara, head of Camp TechKobwa said that the programme focuses on inspiring young women to become the next generation of Rwandan technology entrepreneurs by developing their skills and creativity in using technology.

"We wanted to inspire girls to have courage to approach technology and also provide access to computers, remove any fear from them of using technology such that they know that they can also participate and become leaders in the ICT sector" Fujiwara explains.

Patrick Rwabidadi, a Senior Technologist at the Ministry of Youth & ICT said that the ministry had embarked on this initiative to bridge the gap between males and females in the ICT sector.

Rwabidadi further said that camp TechKobwa was an ideal way to encourage young women to become active in the ICT sector by building their confidence and self-esteem in the use of technologies.

He called on the girls that had received this training to start media and computer clubs in their schools such that they can share the knowledge acquired with other students.

Acknowledging the gap of women in the ICT field was Akaliza Keza Gara of Shaking Sun Ltd that deals in designing websites and graphics, who said that the ICT sector was clearly male-dominated.

"Having girls in ICT is still a challenge that we are trying to address because most of the professionals in this field are men. So we have been encouraging young women to join the field and study ICT. Even those who are pursuing other careers ought to study it on the side because those skills are transferable in any carrier" Akaliza explains.
Bellis Kizza a student of Gashora Girls' Academy said that she had learnt a lot about computers like how to make video, programming using scratch and how to type faster. She said as a computer student the training had helped improve her knowledge in ICT and was also inspired to become an entrepreneur and technician in the future. The girls participated in several fun and educational activities and were also given an opportunity to interact with women pursuing careers in both media and technology.

Further information

Thursday, August 15, 2013 2:51:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, August 12, 2013
A recent survey was conducted on Women24 with 2000 of the site’s readers. The aim of the survey was to help marketers and ad agencies find out what makes South African women tick and what their online behaviour is.

The survey findings reveal that Women24 readers are highly engaged online. 83% of the respondents said they used the internet to gather information, 78% of them regularly take online reviews into consideration when shopping and 33% watch online videos at least once a week. 21% also spend more than three hours a day on their phone or mobile device.

This active engagement online is reflected in Women24′s Effective Measure numbers. Women24 features as the biggest female focused website in the Unique Browser category (Effective Measure’s benchmark of choice) with an average of 267,689 UB’s per month over the last three months.

The site also recorded a total average of 1,846,845 Page Impressions over the last three months.”Women24 is the top website for women in South Africa, consistently occupying this top spot in the benchmark measurement categories for the industry, proof that the content policies are meeting the needs of female readers” says Gustav Goosen, CEO for The SpaceStation, the digital media sales agency who exclusively represent Women24. “Our survey has shown that the Women24 reader embraces being online and has a lifestyle geared towards living digitally”, says Goosen. The results show that 50% of the respondents shopped online at least once a month, while 95% of them entered competitions online and 50% also confirmed they engage with online ads on a regular basis.

The Women24 reader is savvy and educated – 75% have a tertiary education and 44% earn more than R30k per month. But they also embrace family and down time, with 57% of the readers choosing a family as the ultimate female status symbol and 70% using their spare time to go on holiday in South Africa.

Says Lili Radloff, Women24′s editor: “Our readers are loyal and very specific about where they want to be online. The site’s editorial policy is to provide content that is frank, original and fearless and to create a platform where women of all ages and cultures can share their stories and get advice from a team of experts”.

“We conduct surveys like these to assist our clients and agencies in understanding the people they are communicating with, and to help them and their team strategically make the best decisions for their campaigns”, says Women24 channel manager at The SpaceStation, Vicki Steenkamp.

The SpaceStation has created an infographic from the survey results, which is available on the news section of www.thespacestation.co.za. The company is also available on Twitter @SpaceStationZA.

Further details

Monday, August 12, 2013 5:36:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, August 07, 2013
A 21st Century Media Strategy to Promote Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment Worldwide



Every era has a moment when the scales begin to tip. For the world’s women and girls, that moment is now. Women and Girls Lead Global combines the power of documentary film, national television broadcasts, local and new media, and engagement activities to impact audiences and support existing NGO efforts to empower women and girls.

THE PROJECT
- Three-year initiative launches in nine countries in Fall 2012.
- High-quality documentary films profile women and men who inspire hope, awareness, and action.
- Television partners in each country air annual 10-episode series to national audiences.
- Engagement campaigns align with existing local work of NGO and media partners.
- Local “call-to-action” content (PSAs, radio, mobile), live screenings, and social media connect individuals, mobilize communities, and multiply NGO impact.
- Builds on the work of Women and Girls Lead, a 50-documentary public television project to focus, educate, and connect U.S. audiences in support of women and girls everywhere.

PARTNERS
Women and Girls Lead Global is a public-private alliance created between USAID, Independent Television Service (ITVS), and Ford Foundation, in cooperation with lead NGO partner CARE.

LEARN MORE
Download the Women and Girls Lead Global fact sheet.
Read the Impact Blog post "The Power of Storytelling" by CARE's CEO and President, Dr. Helene Gayle.
Visit the Women and Girls Lead Global website.

(Source: USAID and Women and Girls Lead Global website)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:56:41 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Critically Acclaimed 18-Week Series Introduces U.S Audiences to Their Global Neighbors, Offering Unique Perspectives Into Unfamiliar Lives, Experiences and Stories from Around the World.



Season premieres Sunday, June 2 at 10 PM ET on the WORLD channel (Check local listings) and available online at http://worldchannel.org/

Independent Television Service (ITVS) and the WORLD channel announced last May the lineup for season six of Global Voices, the critically acclaimed international documentary television series premiering on the WORLD channel (Check local listings). The first original series to launch on WORLD, Global Voices was included in the New York Times’ Mike Hale’s list of “Favorite TV shows of 2012”. This season will set out to present even more compelling stories often overlooked by American media, by offering a unique lineup of programming, introducing U.S. audiences to their global neighbors and opening a window into unfamiliar lives, experiences, and perspectives from around the world.

Slated for Sunday nights at 10pm ET, from the beginning of June through the end of September, this weekly series premieres Sunday, June 2, followed by a repeat broadcast of the entire season for an additional 18 weeks. The series will present the U.S premieres of nine documentaries funded by ITVS, as well as encore presentations of other acclaimed ITVS programs. In addition to the WORLD channel broadcast, each episode will be available online, post airdate, beginning the following day for 21- 30 days at worldchannel.org. All full-length episodes are free and available online anytime during the allotted timeframe.

This season’s Global Voices spans the globe and offers rare insights into the lives of people in countries as far away as Indonesia, India, El Salvador, Iraq, Tanzania, Japan and Ethiopia, providing a global perspective and diverse viewpoints about our global world community.

The season opens in Indonesia, with the U.S Premiere of Where Heaven Meets Hell (Air Date: June 2), by Sasha Friedlander. Deep in the rain forests of Eastern Java, Indonesia, lies the active volcano, Kawah Ijen, where 500 sulfur miners carrying backbreaking loads, traverse treacherous terrain amidst spectacular vistas and toxic gases. Friedlander relays the stories of four of these miners, who risk their lives and health daily in an industry we rely on for sugar, matches and cosmetics. This visually stunning and intimate film chronicles their attempts to escape the endemic poverty and lack of education that haunts their community. Drawing strength from their families and Muslim faith, these miners inspire us as they search for meaning in their daily struggles and triumphs.

In the next U.S Premiere, When Hari Got Married (Air Date: June 16), directed by Ritu Sarin and Tenzing Sonam, we meet Hari a 30-year old taxi driver in the Indian Himalayas. He is getting married to a girl he has never met, but has fallen in love with her over the mobile phone.

Hundreds –possibly thousands – of children disappeared from El Salvador in the midst of the country’s civil war in the 1980s. Niños de la Memoria (Air Date: June 30), directed by María Teresa Rodríguez, follows three of those children as they return to their native country in search of identity and answers.

Invoking Justice (Air Date: July 14), Deepa Dhanraj’s film, explores the lives of Muslim women from a small town in South India, who set out to deliver justice in their own courts, posing a radical challenge to their traditional Muslim community and clergy.

Other premiere programming highlights include The Lost Dream (Air Date: July 28), directed by Jehan S. Harney. Nazar and Salam helped the coalition forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and were forced to flee their homes. As they begin their new lives in the United States, they wonder if their sacrifice was worth the costs. In the Shadow of the Sun (Air Date: August 11), directed by Harry Freeland, is an intimate story about two very different members of a remote island’s albino community in Tanzania, as a wave of brutal killings targeting people with albinism sweeps their country. The List (Air Date: September 8), directed by Beth Murphy, introduces us to a modern-day Oskar Schindler story, about Kirk Johnson, a 26-year old American aid worker, fighting to save thousands of Iraqis whose lives are in danger because they worked for the United States to help build Iraq.

The season concludes with two films about family and identity. Directed by Kaspar Astrup Schröder, Rent a Family, Inc. (Air Date: September 22) follows Ryuichi, a Japanese businessman, who owns a company that rents out fake family members and friends, but his own family doesn’t know. The season finale Girl, Adopted (Air Date: September 29), directed by Susan Motamed and Melanie Judd, spans four years in the life of one irrepressible girl. The film offers an intimate look at the struggle to create identity in the aftermath of adoption across race and culture.

In addition to the nine programs making their U.S. broadcast premiere, the series will also include nine award-wining programs, many in which have previously premiered on PBS’s Independent Lens series. These films include: Garbage Dreams, directed by Mai Iskander; Unmistaken Child, directed by Nati Baratz; Bolinao 52, by Duc Nguyen; Behind the Rainbow, directed by Jihan El Tahri; Blessed is the Match, directed by Roberta Grossman; Taking Root, directed by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater; A Village Called Versailles, directed by S. Leo Chiang; Journals of a Wily School, directed by Sudeshna Bose; Egalité for All: Toussaint Louverture and the Haitian Revolution, directed by Pat Aste.

For a complete lineup of Global Voices films and schedule, please visit: worldchannel.org

(Source: ITVS)

Wednesday, August 07, 2013 9:46:17 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, August 02, 2013


The Computer Society of Zimbabwe hosted on 23 July a discussion on issues affecting women in the information communication technology sector.
The discussion ran under the theme, "Women in ICTs - Challenges and Opportunities".

In a statement, the society said the event was addressed by some of the leading women in the local ICT sector who have also been challenged and inspired by other successful women worldwide.

"The event was facilitated by some of the leading women in the ICT sector in Zimbabwe, among them X-Pert Solutions managing consultant Joyce Benza, Computer Society of Zimbabwe deputy director Viola Dondo, Premier Service Medical Aid Society ICT manager Margareth Ziramba, while lawyer Rumbidzai Dube was the guest speaker", read the statement.

Focus of the event was the challenges being faced by women in making a breakthrough in the field of ICT that has for long been male dominated.
"Considering that the facilitators are women shows that the ICT field is for everyone and much can be done from every angle”.
"Opportunities were also discussed in relation to how the girl child can be better prepared for a career in ICT leadership, software and network engineering and many other facets of ICT", added the statement.

The event came at a time the society is undergoing transformation with a possibility of rebranding to ensure that it operates professionally while achieving its set targets and objectives that include ensuring the ICT person remains relevant.

Further details

Friday, August 02, 2013 11:30:06 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Schools are preparing for a seismic shift in the teaching of ICT. Now they have Computing instead of ICT to cope with, and there is a much greater emphasis on computer science under a new curriculum.

While some schools, especially primaries, struggle to prepare for this change, Lancaster Girls' Grammar School has grabbed the bull by the horns. Instead of putting on a course for teachers they are taking 30 students to the hotbed of digital innovation and home of some of the brightest minds in computer science – Silicon Valley, California.
Lancaster headteacher Jackie Cahalin is delighted. “ICT is a very successful subject at LGGS at both GCSE and A level standard", she says, "allowing the girls to be creative as well as learning skills that will assist them in their other studies and future careers.

"We introduced Computing because there was a clear gap in our curriculum for those pupils who wanted to go a step further and learn how to create a tool rather than use it. Computing appeals to girls who enjoy maths, electronics and science; they find it challenging and have had to adapt their mindsets to be able to overcome problems and find solutions.

"We strive to offer our pupils the best opportunities and the visit to San Francisco is no exception and is set to truly inspire LGGS students to see there are opportunities for women in this field."
The children and teachers leave on July 17 for a full itinerary which includes visits to the usual tourist spots such as Golden Gate Park, Sausalito, Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz but also the more computer-focused trips to the History of Computing Museum in Mountain View, Google HQ, Qualcom and a full day on the Stanford University Campus where they will meet some of the women in the faculty of computer science.

The inspiration behind the trip is Joanne Devlin, head of ICT, computing and business. “I never recognized the 'dull and boring' description of ICT [Michael Gove's] from the teaching at Lancaster Girls' Grammar School", she says, "as we have tried to make the teaching of ICT as interesting, engaging and relevant to the needs of pupils and their potential careers in the IT and digital industries.

"This trip, however, will help to raise the girls’ aspirations and make them realize what opportunities a career in computing and IT could offer them.




Further details

Friday, August 02, 2013 11:07:57 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, July 26, 2013
Gender equality is a basic human right enshrined in the United Nations Charter. In the year 2000, at the United Nations Millennium Summit, the Millennium Development Goals were established and signed by 189 heads of state around the world: a list of eight overarching goals for developing countries to achieve by 2015 was outlined. Within this list, Goal 3a sought to 'eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015'. Indicator 9 of this goal was to measure the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women, in the ratio of girls to boys in primary, secondary and tertiary education. However, the targets set by MDGs and other global forums have largely been missed on the African continent, partly because in Sub-Saharan Africa the number of out-of-school girls has decreased more slowly, from 25 million in 1999 to 17 million in 2008, according to the World Bank (2011).

For many years, the education of the girl child has not been a priority in many parts of the developing world because of a number of reasons, ranging from cultural, biological and social. This disparity has been reflected in areas of politics, leadership and business which have for many years, with some recent changes, been dominated by men.

The birth and rise of new media is, however, changing the story for many girls in Africa who have been given an opportunity to compete with their male counterparts. A new generation of girls using technology to change their story is being born. An example from Uganda is the GirlGeekKampala, a group of young enthusiastic girls who have come together to encourage the culture of programming among female university students all over Uganda. Their goal is to facilitate favorable competition in developing applications for sale, to match their male counterparts.

Similarly, in South Africa, ShetheGeek is on a mission to empower women globally through training with technology and innovation. In Kenya, a fast growing technology base within East Africa, the school of Open Kenya initiative is creating positive impact and changing mind-sets (Creative Commons Blog, 2013). The initiative provides girls with peer mentorship, learning through the use of open educational resources, and using the Internet to objectively achieve their goals and actualize their ideas, while actively solving issues in their communities. Beyond individual efforts of girls trying to help fellow girls, institutions such as the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) strive to improve access to ICTs to underserved communities worldwide. Access to ICTs, the United Nations says, empowers women and girls to take their rightful place as equals in the world.

It is evident that investing in a girl child's education is empowering a girl to make informed decisions about her life, to aspire for greater goals in life beyond marriage and to compete favorably with her male counterparts in politics, business, leadership and other fields, with one main goal of creating positive social change and contributing to the development of her society or nation. It is therefore important for leaders to encourage the culture of tolerance and acceptance in men, of women who break even in politics and other male dominated professions and cease to look at them as competitors or threats but rather as companions and team players in achieving a better good for society.

"How Technologies Can Help with Investing in Girls Education" is one of the twelve opinion pieces featured in the eLearning Africa 2013 Report. To read more about the annual publication, please visit: http://elearning-africa.com/media_library_publications_ela_report_2013.php.

(Source: All Africa)

Friday, July 26, 2013 10:12:19 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, July 18, 2013


THEME: Promoting Female Participation in ICT

DATE: 25th August – 31stAugust 2013
VENUE: Tamale Girls Senior High School, Tamale, Ghana

Overall objective:
To reduce gender inequalities by increasing women and girl’s ability to effectively use information and communications technologies.

Specific objectives:
To improve enrollment and the performance of girls in the study of science and technology-related subjects in secondary schools and at higher levels of education.
To increase the capacity of female teachers to provide effective ICT education to girls.

Target group:
100 Junior High School girls, aged 12-17

Estimated results:
Female junior high school students’ ICT skills have been strengthened.
Female junior high school students’ interest in ICT has been boosted.
Female junior high school students’ view of women working in ICT-related professions has improved.
The awareness of female ICT teachers of the specific needs of female students in ICT education has increased.

Further details

Thursday, July 18, 2013 2:15:59 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UN Women is partnering with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media on a global study to analyze the depiction and representation of female characters in family films. The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, has commissioned the study from Associate Professor Stacy Smith of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

It will examine the top-grossing international movies in Australia, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and the United Kingdom. It is the first such study ever undertaken.

“There is no doubt that gender stereotypes in the media are influential socio-psychological factors in how women and girls are perceived. They also influence their self-esteem and relationships between the sexes”, said Lakshmi Puri, Acting Head of UN Women. “We cannot let the negative depiction of women and girls erode the hard gains that have been made on gender equality and women’s empowerment. We hope that the study will address factors that positively impact the perception of women in society, positive role models of women and girls and men and boys, and the value of respectful relationships that can foster and benefit from women’s empowerment”, she added.

While research into the consequences of media exposure is complex, there is a general consensus among health professionals, researchers and educators that high levels of media exposure to negative imagery are related to negative outcomes for children and adults. These outcomes include effects in the areas of academic performance, body image, early sexual behaviour, and social and cultural behaviours and beliefs. These effects may also affect future life and occupational choices for women.

Previous research by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media revealed that gender parity still does not exist on-screen. In family films, only 28.3 per cent of all speaking characters were female. This translates into 2.53 males to every one female. Not only are girls and women under-represented on-screen, but many are depicted in a stereotypical and sexualized light. Occupationally, few women held positions of power on screen. Only 3.4 per cent of business leader characters and 4.5 per cent of high-level politicians were female.

“By virtue of the dearth of female characters of substance in the media kids see, we are in effect teaching our children that women and girls don’t take up half of the space in the world. We’re teaching them to see that boys are doing the important and interesting things in society”, said Academy-Award -winner Geena Davis, the leading advocate for positive change in gender portrayals in the entertainment industry. “Media images have an enormous impact on children’s self-esteem and aspirations. This is why we decided to launch a global gender in media study: if girls see it, they can be it”.

“The Rockefeller Foundation is pleased to support this important study that is sure to bring a discerning eye to the ways girls and women are portrayed and perceived”, said Rockefeller Foundation Associate Director, International Development, Sundaa Bridgett-Jones. “We hope the findings will be a clear call to resist the culture of casual stereotypes that so negatively impact global achievements in gender equality”.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media will present the findings of the study during the 2nd Global Symposium on Gender in Media in fall 2014.

(Source: UN Women)

Thursday, July 18, 2013 1:50:56 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 14, 2013
Information and communications technology (ICT) is now an indispensable tool in empowering women, an international conference heard.



Participants from 21 countries attending the three-day conference, held this month (1-3 June) in Solan in Himachal Pradesh state (India), were satisfied by the rapid progress of ICT initiatives, but equally concerned at the many divides.

"We are doing a lot to train urban women into experts in information technology, but relatively little is being done to increase use of ICT among rural women", said Vinita Sharma who heads science for equity, empowerment & development at India’s department of science and technology.

Deliberations at the conference, organized by the centre for science & technology of non-aligned and other developing countries (NAM S&T Centre) and Jaypee University of Information Technology, Solan, focused on ways to make ICT more accessible to women.

Marialy Tovar, international analyst, Venezuelan ministry of science, technology and innovation, reported that 'info-centro' machines installed in most villages in her country have increased ICT access for women in her country.

Pushpa Devi Kuppusamy, IT officer in the Malaysian ministry of science, technology and innovation said the '1nita' project in her country encourages women entrepreneurs to use ICT to advantage.

Participants noted the problems of access that women face include lack of training and infrastructure, socio-economic constraints to owning ICT equipment, inconvenient location of community ICT centres and lack of confidence.

While there has been a steady increase in the number of female ICT professionals, a large number of women still fear using ICT tools.
"We need to instill confidence among women so that they can be as good as men in both using and improving the technology", Arun Kulshreshsta, director of the NAM S&T Centre, told SciDev.Net.

Nirupama Prakash, head of the centre for women studies at Jaypee University, said women from the villages in Uttarakhand state had benefited from training in using community radio imparted by her centre.

Among recommendations made by the conference was one concerning the use of ICT to increase women's security and making them better aware of their legal rights.

(Source: SCIDEV)

Friday, June 14, 2013 2:08:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
All classrooms of the literacy project for girls and women in Senegal (PAJEF) will soon be equipped with a digital kit consisting of a laptop, an interactive beamer, an infrared stylus touch pen to write directly on the digital board, as well as adapted software.

UNESCO’s Regional Office in Dakar will shortly received 200 digital classroom kits from the “Sankoré” programme, a joint partnership for education between the GIP ENA (a public interest group for digital education in Africa), the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and UNESCO Dakar.

A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed on the May, 16th between Professor Albert-Claude Benhamou for the GIP ENA, Jean-Marc Châtaigner for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and Ann Thérèse Ndong-Jatta, director of the Regional Office for Education in Africa (BREDA) of UNESCO, in order to define the conditions of the “Sankoré” programme’s support to the literacy project PAJEF. The digital kits will be used in the teaching and training of illiterate girls and women, as well as the 3000 newly literate beneficiaries of PAJEF who will now start to learn computer skills.

Improve the impact
“This is a way to improve the impact of PAJEF, as ICT skills are vital in today’s society, and it greatly motivates girls and women to learn”, says Saip Sy, who is working on the PAJEF project in UNESCO Dakar. “We are convinced that these kits will make the literacy classrooms much more efficient as they enhance the teachers’ teaching abilities. This is already happening in formal education” he adds.

PAJEF started in January 2012 and aims to reach out to 40,000 neo - literate and illiterate women aged 15 - 55 years in Senegal. The principal target is the seven regions most affected by illiteracy (Diourbel, Fatick, Kédougou, Matam, Saint-Louis, Tambacounda and Dakar). It runs until the end of 2013.
While the digital kits are a way to make ICTs become a reality in these often remote villages, we also have to deal with several challenges, says Sy.

They include:
- Integrate ICTs in current teaching and training processes
- Train teachers in the specific software and improve their teaching abilities
- Use local languages in the ICTs,
The digital kits will be introduced in the formal schools as well and will hence be used both in formal schooling and in the literacy classes.

Improved efficiency
The software “Open Sankoré” and the different components of the digital kits are great tools for teachers. The kits are simple to use and manage and teachers can instantly adjust their teaching. For example they can directly make some comments and underline their lesson on the digital board, add pictures, videos, etc, and adapt teaching according to the progression of the learners.

Moreover, through the introduction of these digital kits, learners should gain knowledge easier through greater participation. Everyone can intervene during the class and interactions hence become one of the principal components of the lesson.

TV programmes in the classrooms
An additional advantage is that thanks to a partnership with Senegal’s national TV station RTS, several news and education programmes will be made available in the classrooms.

“This is a really important input to the PAJEF literacy programmes, as girls and women will learn not only literacy but also about such issues as nutrition, health, the environment etc.”, comments Saip Sy.

GIP ENA will deliver the digital kits to UNESCO Dakar in June 2013. A series of training session for teachers and technical teams are scheduled the following month, where the digital equipment will also be set up.

An evaluation will be carried out at the end of 2013 to analyse the efficiency of these digital kits.
The fund for PAJEF, amounting to $750,000, is funding by the international company Procter & Gamble (Always) and UNESCO to the Government of Senegal.

(Source: UNESCO)

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:57:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Ericsson Kenya finally joined the International Telecommunications Union’s (ITU) efforts in celebrating Girls in ICT Day on Friday May 31, by inviting and hosting 20 high school students at their headquarters.

The day is usually celebrated on the fourth Thursday of April, but Ericsson chose to wait a month in order to fit with the Kenyan school calendar.
The students, drawn from Alliance Girls, Pumwani Secondary, Starehe Girls, Embakasi and Huruma Girls, were invited to the company’s premises for an open day where they got encouragement from Ericsson staff to join the field of ICT.

Margaret Mutisya, Ericsson human resources manager, said: “As part of the initiative, nearly 90 countries organized events empowering more than 30,000 girls worldwide in 2012. The Ericsson’s Kenya “Girls in ICT day” marked on May 31, 2013 is therefore part of a global initiative but with local execution”.
During the session invited students, who are top performers in their respective schools, were treated to motivational talks and paired up with staff members who would demonstrate the operations of the telecommunications company.

Mutisya added: “This is our first Girls in ICT Day event and we’re committed to track the academic progress of the girls to monitor how those who’re pursuing careers in ICT are performing, with a view to incorporating them in Ericsson’s management trainee programmes”.

The “Girls in ICT Day” – which has been marked since 2010 - is an annual event meant to celebrate women’s achievements in the field of technology and promote tech opportunities to young girls worldwide.

Futher information

Friday, June 14, 2013 1:38:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, June 07, 2013
Telecentre.org Foundation (TCF) launched its book, Outstanding Telecentre Women Managers: 100 Stories. The English Edition of the e-book, which was officially debuted at Spark13, the 4th Global Forum on Telecentres on May 28, 2013 in Granada, Spain, is a compilation of stories of the winners of the Global Search for 100 Outstanding Telecentre Women Managers conducted by TCF in 2011. The competition, which was organized in collaboration with TCF’s six regional telecentre network partners is a component of the Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign, a joint initiative by the International Telecommunication Union and Telecentre.org Foundation.



The 100 stories featured in the e-book chronicles the lives of women from over 30 countries around the world and presents a vivid snapshot of how these telecentre women came to rise to their current ranks, the struggles they encountered along the way, and the projects they are working on that are currently changing the world.

Tess Camba, Director of Operations for Telecentre.org Foundation said, “We’re extremely excited to be able to share this with you. We are grateful for all the partners who have contributed to the development of this book and most especially for the 100 women who have graciously allowed us to share their stories with the rest of the world”.
A second edition with translations of the English articles in multiple languages is set to be launched in the third quarter of 2013. The English Edition is currently available for download at the TCF website.

(Source: Telecentre.org)

Friday, June 07, 2013 8:31:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 30, 2013


Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation is launching a high quality,  exciting and technically challenging one week residential Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camp for African Girls in Senior Secondary School (9th to 12th Grades). The theme of the camp is Robotics and Renewable Energy. The camp will be help from July 28th to August 3rd in Lagos, Nigeria.

Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW), in partnership with the Womens Technology Empowerment Center (W.TEC) Nigeria will launch its one - week residential Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) camp at the Laureates College in Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria from July 28th to August 2nd, 2013. The theme of the 2013 camp is ROBOTICS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY.

The Director of WAAW STEM Camp initiative, Ms. Ifeyinwa Okoye said "The camp will use an integrated learning approach centered on the theme to show how robotics, computer science and programming are useful for solving significant problems in Africa, including electricity generation. The girls will learn to use locally available items and tools so that when camp is over, they will be able to continue to innovate with what they can find in their communities".

The Robotics STEM camp, the first of its kind in Africa, will include hands on activities, lectures, tutorials, experiments and field trips, all led and presented by female role models as an avenue to interest and excite the girls about STEM careers.

Camp applications open in March online at http://www.waawfoundation.org. Campers will be selected through a screening process and individual interviews. Successful candidates will be notified the first week of June 2013.

When asked about the criteria for qualification, the Executive Director of WAAW, Mrs. Ebele Agustates that "This camp is for African girls between the ages of 13 and 17 years who are currently enrolled in Senior Secondary School (SS1) through SS3 within the African continent. We feel that this is the age where girls are making crucial decisions about their careers. This is when we can make a lasting impression on the girls and help them form peer networks that they can draw on throughout their careers".

The STEM Camp Program will include:
- Students building a robot to solve green energy challenges such as trash sorting.
- Students building renewable energy systems such as solar and Wind Mill systems.
- Students exploring science, engineering and Math topics to support camp theme.
- Students participating in intense team building exercises.

There will also be time for fun! The camp schedules a number of activities that include swimming, pizza parties, baking classes, dance classes, career fair, wii playing and karaoke. Participants will experience dorm life, cafeteria food and learn what it is like to be on a college campus.
"The learning objective is to ensure girls think of Science and Technology as tools to help them innovate to enable real problem solving in their communities", says Dr. Unoma Okorafor, the founder of WAAW Foundation organization.

Participants are African girls (ages 13 – 17) who show high aptitude and interest in STEM disciplines.  drawn both from government or public schools fed by low income families, who otherwise would not have the opportunity to learn about or be exposed to possible STEM careers, and from private schools. The aim of the camp is to challenge traditional African societal beliefs that female education is wasted resources and demonstrate that STEM innovation helps solve real problems in the communities in which our participants live.

See here the STEM Camp Application.

(Source: Pressroom WAAW)

Thursday, May 30, 2013 5:59:30 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 22, 2013
An 18-year-old science student has made an astonishing breakthrough that will enable mobile phones and other batteries to be charged within seconds rather than the hours it takes today’s devices to power back up.

Saratoga, Calif. resident Eesha Khare made the breakthrough by creating a small super capacitor that can fit inside a cell phone battery and enable ultra-fast electricity transfer and storage, delivering a full charge in 20-30 seconds instead of several hours.

The nano-tech device Khare created can supposedly withstand up to 100,000 charges, a 100-fold increase over current technology, and it’s flexible enough to be used in clothing or displays on any non-flat surface.

It could also one day be used in car batteries and charging stations not unlike those used by the Tesla Model S, which includes “supercharger” technology that promises to charge vehicles in 30 minutes or less.

“I’m in a daze,” Khare told CBS San Francisco after being honored among the three finalists at the International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix over the weekend. “I can’t believe this happened”.

Over 1,600 finalists from around the world competed in the science fair for a $75,000 scholarship grand prize awarded by Intel. Runners-up received $50,000 scholarships.
Khare was the runner-up to 19-year-old Romanian student Gorden E. Moore, who created a low-cost artificial intelligence that can drive vehicles. She tied with Louisiana 17-year-old Henry Wanjune, who figured out new ways to measure dark matter and energy in space.

Further details

Wednesday, May 22, 2013 1:49:02 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, May 21, 2013
As part of its efforts to improve the quality of lives through extensive use of digital technology, global technology company, Intel Corporation Nigeria, has entered into a partnership with the African Women Entrepreneurship programme AWEP for the delivery of digital literacy training women entrepreneurs. Intel will conduct the training on a train-the-trainer basis.

Corporate Affairs Manager of Intel West Africa, Osagie Ogunbor said that the initiative would enhance the ability of the women to run more efficient businesses.
The training known, as Intel EASY STEPS is part of the corporation’s educational content for which the chip-making company has become reputable across the world.
Ogunbor noted that the training, which would be provided free of charge was also part of Intel’s “women friendly” corporate social responsibility initiatives.

He explained that digital literacy was pivotal to the improvement of the quality of lives of any individual in today’s contemporary world and that Intel was committed to partnering with like-minded organizations to improve digital literacy the world over.

According to Ogunbor, “you cannot be effective and efficient in the running of any enterprise without digital literacy. This has become a necessity in this digital age, and we are proud to lead in global efforts at digital literacy”.

On her part, the President of AWEP Nigeria Yemisi Iranloye stated that the organization was delighted that Intel was providing the free training for its members and promised that those who receive the training would in turn ensure that they train others.

Iranloye said, “despite the large number of women running very small informal businesses, a number of them are unable to expand the scope and profile of their businesses, because they are unable to take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the digital world”, she said and urged women to embrace online marketing which was a cost effective way of reaching the entire world via the Internet.

The AWEP boss in Nigeria also called on other organizations to emulate Intel’s consistent efforts to address issues of women and girls’ empowerment as well as its trademark education programmes across the world. AWEP representatives from Ghana, Zambia and Cameroun attended the training.

AWEP is an initiative launched by the U.S. Department of State in July 2010. It identifies and builds networks of women entrepreneurs across sub-Saharan Africa who are poised to transform their societies by owning, running, and operating small and medium scale businesses, and by becoming voices for social advocacy in their communities.

(Source: The Guardian Newspaper)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 2:40:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
ITU WSIS Forum 2013
High Level Dialogue 1
Women's Empowerment in the Information Society: Systemic, Scalable Strategies
14 May 2013, Geneva, Switzerland
Distinguished guests,
Ladies and gentlemen,

It is a tremendous pleasure to be with you this afternoon for this very important High Level Dialogue on Women’s Empowerment in the Information Society.
In the second decade of the 21st century, we are all very much aware of the power and importance of ICTs in every aspect of our lives – and ICTs increasingly play a vital role in all societies, in all countries.

ICTs are also a huge enabler for women in all communities – and especially in the developing world.

Even a simple mobile phone enables women to stay in touch with family and friends; can provide women with access to all kinds of valuable information, such as healthcare and reproductive information; and can be a valuable tool for marketing skills and selling products and services.

With ICTs we can deliver basic education in areas such as literacy, entrepreneurship and e-agriculture in ways never before imagined – and given that women do most of the world’s work, this offers enormous potential for improving the lives not just of women but of all the world’s people.

I am proud to be able to report that ITU – the UN specialized agency for ICTs – has partnered with the Telecentre.org Foundation on a Women’s Digital Literacy Campaign.
This campaign, launched in 2011, is on track to train one million women in basic ICT skills – and indeed by March this year we were already past the two-thirds mark, with 680,000 women from 147 organizations trained in 85 countries.

For its part, the UN Broadband Commission – which was created three years ago by ITU and UNESCO – set up a Working Group on Broadband and Gender in September last year, in answer to a direct appeal from Geena Davis, to harness the power of broadband to empower women and girls.

The working group had its first formal meeting in Mexico just over a month ago, chaired by Helen Clark, the UNDP Administrator, and I was very pleased to have been able to take part myself, along with the co-Chair of the Broadband Commission, Carlos Slim.

The Commission has also endorsed a new advocacy target, to achieve gender equality in access to broadband by 2020.

Ladies and gentlemen,
In a world where there is a large and growing skills shortage in the ICT sector, we need to get more girls involved in science, technology, engineering and maths – the STEM subjects – and we need to get more girls taking an interest in ICT careers.

ITU has adopted a three-pronged approach to increasing the number of women in ICT careers:

Firstly, to create demand among girls and women for careers in ICT, especially through our annual Girls in ICT Day initiative, which takes place on the fourth Thursday in April;
Secondly, to ensure a better supply of STEM education to girls and women; and
Thirdly, to achieve long-term sustainability by encouraging ICT businesses to attract, recruit, retain and – last, but very much not least – promote women. This involves issues such as pay gaps, recruitment strategies, making the work environment more attractive to women, and of course the work-life balance.

How can we move this strategy forward?

As you may know, UN Women and the UN Global Compact developed a core set of principles for all kinds of businesses offering guidance on how to empower women in the workplace, marketplace and community.

These principles are known as the Women’s Empowerment Principles. The WEPs were developed following an international multi-stakeholder consultation process, which began in March 2009 and culminated in their launch on International Women’s Day in March 2010.

Nearly 600 companies around the world have now signed on to these principles.

One of the recommendations made by ITU during the discussions on Women’s ICT Careers, at the Women, ICT and Development meeting in Washington DC in January, was to develop a Roadmap for the Tech Sector.

This roadmap would address the challenges and barriers to engaging more girls in STEM studies, as well as those that prevent women from fully-engaging in ICT careers and advancing to the highest levels.

I am therefore delighted to be able to announce that ITU, UN Women and the UN Global Compact have agreed to launch an international multi-stakeholder consultation process to develop a Tech Sector Roadmap designed to tackle just these challenges.

We will look forward to working with a wide range of stakeholders – including WICTAD and the Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender – as we develop this roadmap.

ITU looks forward to bringing its experience in promoting girls into the ICT pipeline and women into ICT careers.
In addition, ITU can promote the Tech Sector Roadmap among its 700+ Sector Members, which include many of the world’s leading ICT companies and top academic institutions.

I am sure that my colleague here from UN Women will also wish to share her thoughts on the Tech Sector Roadmap.
Distinguished guests,

This high level panel has been convened to identify systemic, scalable strategies for empowering women in the Information Society – and I believe that the Tech Sector Roadmap is a perfect example of this, and will make real progress in enabling girls and women to step up to technology and seize the amazing career opportunities ahead.
We have much to look forward to – and I wish you a very constructive dialogue!

Thank you.

(Source: ITU)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:31:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, May 16, 2013
In cooperation with the Jordan National Commission for UNESCO and Arab Women Media Center, UNESCO has been working to incorporate media and information literacy (MIL) into the Jordanian school curriculum by providing high school teachers and students the training to gather, analyze and utilize information through new and traditional media, and to develop debating skills so that they are able to express themselves in a professional manner.

A closing event was held under the patronage of His Excellency the Minister of Education, Dr. Mohammed Al-Wahsh, at Al Hussein Cultural Center to mark the achievements of this pilot project. The students practiced their newly developed debating skills and took part in a debating competition on the topic of “Freedom of Expression via Modern Tools”. Electronic newsletters produced as a part of the project that highlighted vital issues in their communities – with a special focus on youth and gender – were displayed at the event, while students gave testimonies of their experience and learning from the MIL training.

“MIL is one of the essential capacities that enable people to interpret and make informed decisions as users of information and media, as well as to become skillful creators and producers of information and media messages in their own right”, said Dr. Anna Paolini, Head of UNESCO Amman Office and Representative of UNESCO in Jordan.
Implemented throughout the second scholastic semester of 2012-2013, the project targeted 40 male and female students aged 16 and 17 from four UNESCO Associated Schools in Amman, Ajloun and Aqaba. The schools – Princess Taghreed School and Modern Systems Schools in Amman; Prince Faisal the First School in Aqaba; and Kufranja Secondary School in Ajloun – represented the southern, northern, and central areas of Jordan.

Officially titled “Integrating Media and Information Literacy into Jordanian Schools”, the project consisted of two phases. The first was training the teachers that would be involved in the project, followed by the second phase where specialists and teachers provided hands-on training to the students on journalistic writing skills, debating techniques, web search, website development, and management and dissemination of information through modern media tools. By introducing MIL and demonstrating its importance in education, the project aims for MIL to be adopted into the Jordanian curriculum so that it can be taught on a sustainable and impactful basis.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 8:03:54 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The annual meeting to review and measure progress towards targets set in Tunis in 2005 at the UN World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) opened on 13th May. This meeting of the WSIS Forum also marks ten years since the first phase of the Summit was held in Geneva in 2003.

In the coming week, the WSIS Forum will focus on the future of information and communication technologies (ICT), particularly as an engine of growth in a post-2015 development environment. Participants will engage in discussions on a number of diverse topics, such as ICT infrastructure, cybersecurity, enabling environment, e-learning, e-health, e-agriculture, media, accessibility, and ethics. High level dialogues with government ministers and representatives from business and civil society will examine:

- Women's empowerment in the information Society: systematic, scalable strategies
- Smart climate change monitoring: Expanding access to information on weather, climate and water
- ICT innovations and standards: Creating technology for the next three billion
- Securing cyberspace in a borderless world: Vision 2015 and beyond
- ICTs and post 2015 goals
- Youth and ICTs

ITU Secretary-General Hamadoun I. Touré said, “This year’s WSIS Forum is a unique opportunity to develop multi-stakeholder consensus on what is needed for the WSIS process in the future, to ensure that the bottom-up approach of the WSIS process is preserved and that the decisions concerning modalities also respect the real requirements of the use of ICTs for socio-economic development, while ensuring growth in the ICT ecosystem itself”.

More than 1500 participants from government, private sector, civil society and international organizations are expected to attend the WSIS Forum during the week.
Former UN Secretary General Mr Kofi Annan will address the WSIS Process beyond 2015 as well as his engagement with young people in a webinar to inspire them to contribute to the post-2015 development frameworks currently under negotiation.

Approaching ten years since the Summit in 2005, the WSIS+10 Visioning Track will bring all emerging challenges related to the information society into perspective, ensuring that the new vision for WSIS beyond 2015 builds upon real needs of people at the bottom of the pyramid.

The United Nations Group on the Information Society (UNGIS), consisting of 30 members, will issue a joint statement on the Post-2015 Development Agenda to harness inter-agency expertise and experience in addressing development challenges of the 21st century.

Following the opening ceremony, a high-level session kicked off on Emerging Trends and Innovation in the Ecosystem, attended by over fifty government ministers from around the world as well as industry executives.

An exhibition will showcase global initiatives for a more efficient Information Society.
WSIS Forum 2013 Partners

This year’s WSIS Forum programme has been greatly enhanced through the strategic partnership and contribution of the Sultanate of Oman (government) and Intel Corporation (private sector). Contributions for specific activities have also come in from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Mexico, Poland, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania as well as from Hewlett-Packard. The United Arab Emirates is the WSIS+10 Visioning Partner.
For more information, please see www.itu.int/wsis/implementation/2013/forum/

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, May 16, 2013 6:28:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, May 10, 2013
On April 25, 2013 we celebrate the "International Day of Girls in ICT", globally. The initiative, promoted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), seeks to promote the participation of girls and young women in careers related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This celebration is an effort of great importance in a global context that fosters a growing expansion of employment in an industry predominantly male.

In accession to the celebration of "International Day of Girls in ICT", DINATEL has released the current status of the participation of girls and young women in the educational system and the labor market in Uruguay.

The study by DINATEL evidence the present challenges in the national reality regarding the participation of girls and young women in ICT careers.

Download the full report here.

(Source: DINATEL – Uruguay)

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:28:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

The latest in Startup Weekend's new women-focused events, Startup Weekend Algeria was the first event of its kind to feature a 54-hour weekend intensive composed only of women.

The event Thursday, April 18th “was the first ever Startup Weekend Women edition with no men involved in the organization at all,” pointed out Marion Desmazières, a Startup Weekend organizer originally from Paris, who flew in from Seattle to help organize the event. “True, we had Startup Weekend Women editions in San Francisco, Seattle, London and Singapore in the past, but their organizers accepted male coaches and male attendees who signed up with women”.

True to the style of all Startup Weekends, the three-day event began at Cyberparc of Sidi Abdallah in Rahmania with an icebreaker and then a “pitchfire”, in which 24 ideas were pitched and 10 projects were formed. Topics ranged from e-commerce for antiques to e-learning platforms, babysitting websites to car repair business, says Desmazières.

Throughout the weekend, “working with other women judges and coaches boosted their confidence”, says Berrayah. “Many of the women arrived not being sure of their ability to build a technology product, but by the end, we helped them understand how far they could go”.

“They felt really confident and able to go out of their comfort zones”, says Desmazières. “Many girls removed their hijab because they were only with women, and the first night, they spent a sleepness night together, building their projects. She thinks everyone left the event with 54 other friends”, she illustrates.

The top three teams, awarded on Saturday, April 20th, spanned typical topics presented at Startup Weekends:

First place: Dalil Med: an online repository for professionals in the health industry.
Second place: Teach me: a virtual platform for connecting students and teachers.
Third place: Covoiturage DZ: a car-sharing service

While Startup Weekend’s motto is that it’s about creating entrepreneurs, not startups necessarily, this Startup Weekend was about creating startups, insists Berrayah. All of the winning teams have contacted her since the event to sign up for the incubation they won from Cyberparc and take their business to the next level, she says. Companies incubated at Cyberpark can stay for six to 30 months.

Further details

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:25:28 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Girls in Tech Egypt is a new branch of global organization Girls in Tech (GIT), which focuses on women’s    innovative and entrepreneurial achievements in the world of technology through global mentorship programmes.



The mission of GIT’s new branch in Egypt is to empower Egyptian women “to embrace risk and build on their entrepreneurial aspirations”.
The organization hosts mini tech conferences and professional meet-ups where the majority of speakers are women who aspire to share their entrepreneurial and technological aspirations with the public.

Explaining the concept behind the project, GIT’s main website says that Girls in Tech “was born out of a need to provide a place for women to cultivate ideas around their careers and business concepts involving technology”.

The organization was originally founded in San Francisco in 2007 by Adriana Gascoigne.

Since 2007, the network has grown to include over 8,500 members from different parts of the world including China, Greece, France, the United States, and Chile.
The new branch in Egypt seeks to “empower women in technology by simply providing them with more visibility”, the website says.
On its Facebook page, GIT Egypt states that its activities mainly focus on “the engagement, education and empowerment of like-minded, professional, intelligent and influential women in technology”.

The new branch in Egypt aims to focus on the promotion, growth and success of women in the field of technology through using the GIT network.
The network offers a variety of resources and tools for women to supplement and enhance their professional careers, skills and aspirations in the creative field.
Some of these resources include educational workshops and lectures, networking functions, round table discussions, conferences, social engagements, and recruitment events.

Further details

Friday, May 10, 2013 6:14:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
World Pulse and Telecentre.org Foundation (TCF) have recently entered into a partnership agreement that intends to support the digital empowerment of grassroots women worldwide. The agreement, which was finalized last April 22, 2013, aims to equip women with digital literacy skills and enable their participation and leadership at local and global levels.



Specifically, the agreement will focus on introducing World Pulse as a resource to women participating in telecentres via activity cards in Eastern Africa and Central Asia. World Pulse will work with TCF representatives and network coordinators to identify the needs of telecentre women, and hopes to strategize with TCF to scale the pilot and bring digital empowerment to all women participating in telecentres around the world.

Jensine Larsen, CEO of World Pulse says, “TCF is on the cutting edge of empowering women through ICTs, and World Pulse is honored to partner with them to magnify the power of women’s voices worldwide”.

Tess Camba, Director of Operations for TCF also expressed support for the partnership saying, “WorldPulse is one of the foremost action media networks for women globally and TCF is very excited to have them join us as a partner for our Telecentre Women program”.

The agreement between the two organizations will be formally announced at TCF’s Spark13 conference, which takes place this coming May 28-29 in Granada, Spain.

Further information

Friday, May 10, 2013 5:58:44 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


On the International Day of Girls in ICT held by the International Telecommunication Union, the ICT Ministry joined with the completion of a forum called "Women with Digital talent", which was virtually carried out through a hangout.

The forum was held on Thursday, April 25 at 11 am and was attended by distinguished Colombian women in the ICT sector, as the Deputy Minister of Technologies and Information Systems, Maria Isabel Mejia, who spoke about the opportunities of Colombian girls to study ICT-related careers.

Also participated Maria Fernanda Ardila, Digital Culture Deputy of MinTIC (@ mafeardilalopez), who presented the offer of the State for the use and appropriation of ICT in women. It also included the presence of a representative of the ITU, who shared with the public via online, international action that advances the organization for girls and women trained in ICT professions. During the space participated recognized women entrepreneurs, activists and users of community access points of Vive Digital Internet.

The topics discussed were:
• Study opportunities for women in ICT careers
• Offer of ICT Ministry in the use and appropriation of ICT
• Labor Opportunities in the ICT sector for women
• Access to ICT for rural women
• Active in social media software development by women

All activities could be follow hangout. Likewise, people who want to follow this celebration can do so via Twitter with the hashtag # GirlsinICT

(Source: MINTIC)

Friday, May 10, 2013 5:51:17 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 08, 2013
Last month, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Ford Foundation, Show of Force, and Games for Change launched the Half the Sky Movement Media and Technology Engagement Initiative. Over the next two years, this initiative will work to create behavior change toward gender issues in India and Kenya through an integrated media campaign. It will use a combination of traditional and social media, which has been demonstrated to be a powerful approach for shifting gender-related norms and behavior.

This new alliance builds on an initiative developed in collaboration with authors of the best-selling book Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

The initiative is focused on advancing gender equality, which is increasingly being recognized as a key factor in improving development outcomes. Each additional year of education for women reduces child mortality by 18 per thousand births. When women cannot fully engage in the labor force, either by law or custom, GDP growth can suffer by as much as two percent.

Gender equality makes sense not just for the woman herself, but for her family, community and the economy of her country. Yet in many low- and moderate-income countries, women and girls struggle for equal access to healthcare, education, and professional opportunities.

"Educate girls and you change the future for a nation”, said Maura O'Neill, USAID's Chief Innovation Officer. “Give women all the economic opportunities that men have and within a generation a strong middle class will emerge. It is just that simple".

(Source: USAID)

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:40:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The Vice President of Dominican Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, said that technology is a tool of empowerment training and essential for development of girls, because it facilitates active and equal participation in the labor market, in making decision, culture and society.

Dr. Cedeño de Fernández spoke in those terms, during the opening of the forum "Technology needs  girls: A promising future for a new generation of women", organized by the Vice President, the Dominican Telecommunications Institute (lNDOTEL) and National Commission on Information Society and Knowledge (CNSIC), as part of activities in the International Day of the Girls in ICT.

"So today we stress the importance of bringing and empower women, girls, young women to the world of technology, in order to promote gender equality and promote social inclusion", said the Vice President.

In that regard, she said that the era of knowledge demands high skilled, creative and innovative persons, so that technology is a powerful tool to promote and enhance human development, transform the lives of people, develop their capacity and enable insertion into the labor market.

She said that since the Vice President, through the 93 Community Technology Centers operating nationwide and the implementation of initiatives – such as Women in Network and TecnoChicas-, they have managed to make the Information and Communication Technology a development tool, of equity and social inclusion for adolescents and Dominican women living in vulnerable conditions and extreme poverty.

"For that reason, from the vice presidency, we continue our work to promote access to ICTs in every corner of the country and we fully intend to build strategic alliances and develop initiatives to further reduce the digital divide and social that separates rural and urban areas and those who have access to ICTs from those who do not have", said Dr. Cedeño de Fernández.



Further details

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:35:29 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In Nigeria, it was about empowering young women. Talk about girl power, talk about Girls in ICT Day. With women in the IT field coming out in impressive numbers to impart on tomorrow’s leaders discussing topics like Blogging as a means of Livelihood by Tolu Agunbiade, Why Leave ICT to Boys by Dr. Bolanle Oladejo, Careers in ICT by Dr. Florence Oladeji and Surfing the Net To My Advantage by Dr. Olukemi Adebimpe Fadehan (Librarian, University of Lagos).

Girls in ICT Day is an event run all over the world simultaneously to honour women who are into ICT and to extend a warm embrace to the younger generation so that they can see that there is beauty in the field of ICT and equal opportunities as well as benefits, compared to their male counterparts. This year’s edition is the maiden edition, hosted by Eko-Konnect Research and Education Initiative in conjunction with the University of Lagos and Women in Technology Education (YabaTech) tagged Empowering Young Women Through ICT.

It was an exciting and educative symposium as attendees learned the basics of blogging as well as its prerequisites, dug into the track records of exceptional women in the field of ICT and were also sensitized towards discovering the boundless prosperity awaiting ICT. According to Dr. Bolanle Oladejo:

“We are in an age where the internet is the tool to do virtually everything – learn, buy, socialize, read the news, get public services, apply for jobs and do so much more”.
This means that the internet has become an integral part of human living as it rears its pretty head in every human endeavor. It will also do girls a whole lot of good to put behind the negative sensations they have had about ICT in times past and look upon the hopeful part of it all. To drive home this opinion, Dr. Florence Oladeji broke down the exigencies of a career woman, career opportunities in ICT and requirements to become an ICT practitioner which include a bit of programming solving skills, problem solving skills, inter-personal communication skills, flexibility and adaptability, characters and ethics and being legally minded; in a nutshell, anybody can be an ICT practitioner.

Students of the Methodist Girls’ High School, Fazi – L – Omar Senior High School, International School Lagos (ISL), Reagan Secondary School, and Yabatech Secondary School – all in Yaba environs were also present. Being young minds budding to the outside world just yet, the benefits of the event would have been greatly marred if caution was not thrown in the air for the attendees to grab. The internet is here to stay with its advantages and disadvantages which can not be over-emphasized. The Librarian of the University of Lagos, Dr. Olukemi Adebimpe Fadehan, explained explicitly the definition of internet terms, who surfs the net, general advantage of surfing, disadvantages of surfing the internet, how to carry out a purposeful search on the internet, how to evaluate internet resources as well as a list of organizations who offer scholarship to girls who are interested in the field of ICT.

Further details

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:23:42 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Girls In ICT Rwanda was born out of the ITU’s Girls in ICT Day which was celebrated for the first time in Rwanda in 2011. During the planning period for that event, the women entrepreneurs involved formed a group – Girls in ICT Rwanda – which the Ministry of Youth & ICT pledged to support.

The group’s goal is to improve the current statistics regarding the numbers of women in the ICT sector as well as to alter the stereotype held by many young girls that ICT is a man’s field.

Girls in ICT Rwanda consists of women of all ages working in the field ICT including entrepreneurs, professionals and university students. The group has visited a number of schools in Rwanda including Lycee de Kigali and Gashora Girls School. During these visits, the group’s members speak to teenage girls to encourage them to consider ICT as a career option as well help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career.

Recently they organized a Networking Night for female ICT entrepreneurs, professionals and students to network with ICT government institutions, private sector and civil society as well as a host of invited guests from the national and international community. The Guest of Honour was Ann Mei Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State.

Session with Ann Mei

Ann Mei began by telling the group about her background in technology including a story of how, at the age of 24, she became the youngest manager at a tech company. She later worked at a number of companies including Google for 8 years where she managed engineers from all over the world.

Ann Mei highlighted several studies addressing the gender gap when it comes to women’s access to technology, particularly access to internet. She pointed out that ICT is one of the fastest growing sectors and that US Department of Labor projections indicate half of the jobs being created in the next 5 years will go unfilled given current talent growth. She said that women could help fill that gap.

A young lady asked Ann Mei if women have to have an interest in computer programming – specifically coding – and if they have to be a tomboy to work in the tech industry. Ann Mei said that women should study and work at what they are passionate about – not simply what they expect will bring in the most money. She also pointed out that women in tech fields sometimes feel pressured to fit in – to be one of the boys. She advised women to be true to themselves: if you’re a tomboy, great and if you’re a fashionista, that’s great, too – just be who you are.

Another participant asked for recommendations for people who have an interest in ICT but who don’t have time to take long term courses. Ann Mei suggested taking short courses in mobile app development.

One woman asked what needs to be done to improve the education system in order to attract more teenage girls to ICT. Ann Mei said that many universities have outdated course requirements – e.g. an A level in Physics – and that this needs to change. She also discussed the cultural barriers: because the field remains male dominated, the culture in ICT academic and professional environments has naturally evolved to be more attractive to men and boys.


 

More details

Wednesday, May 08, 2013 3:11:08 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, May 01, 2013
On the 25 April the European Commission, ITU and key European stakeholders held a joint celebration of International Girls Day 2013 culminating in the European Parliamentary Hearing on Women in ICT hosted by ITRE – The Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the FEMM Committee (Women’ Rights and Gender Equality).

The Hearing attracted full house of key players of the public and private sector, academia and NGOs and many students from secondary and tertiary education also attended the event.

The hearing focused around the topics of professional women in ICT careers and developing ICT skills for ICT jobs.

Dr.Hamadoun Toure, Secretary-General of the ITU opened the session by giving an overview of ITU's different initiatives to support the Girls in ICT agenda all around the world.

The key message of Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner of the Digital Agenda was that ‘Today not diamonds but ICT skills are girls’ best friends (reminding of Marilyn Monroes ‘Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend’ song introduced in the original Broadway production of ‘Gentlemen Prefer Blondes’ sixty years ago) and Digital Women are worth more than diamonds for the industry!

Getting more women in ICT will enhance equality and competitiveness in an increasingly digital world’.
Please check out the summary of the day and the inspirational speaches of Vice President Neelie Kroes, Commissioner of the Digital Agenda and Dr.Hamadoun Toure, Secretary General of ITU.

ECWT has played a key role in the preparations of the Heaing through presenting a Postition Paper and organizing an on-line consultation on the Hearing in year 2011-2012.
In the Hearing MEP Edit Herczog pointed out that industries need intermediators for their collaboration with girls and stressed that the European Centre for Women and Technology has since 2009 become the key intermediator for the women in ICT agenda.

Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Centre for Women in Technology (NCWIT) raised also the importance of a regional platform and welcomed cooperation between NCWIT and ECWT in the future.

In connection with the Parliamentary Hearing the European Centre for Women and Technology published a special edition of the Parliamentary Magazine the 22nd of April.



Download the full document, here.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:44:04 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
April 25 2013 is a super day for girls and women in technology and Cisco was very present!  The day commenced with a breakfast session Women2020 platform hosted by DIGITALEUROPE with the topic of Women In Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics for Smart Growth of the pillars of the European 2020 Strategy.

The morning session included a panel chaired by Ms. Cheryl Miller, Founder of Women2020, and Dr.Hamadoun Toure’, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union; Ms. Eva Fabry, Director European Centre for Women and Technology; Ms. Marietje Schaake, member of the  European Parliament for the Dutch Democratic Party; Dr. John Higgins, Director-General Digital Europe; Ms. Patricia Reilly Member of the Cabinet-Research, Innovation and Science; Ms. Linda Corugedo Steneberg, Director for Cooperation-DG Connect; Ms. Sabiine Everaet, CIO Europe Group at Coca Cola and a packed room of participants including myself.

Dr.Toure’ appealed to private-public sectors for a 50-50 aspirational target to include women in ICT. There was so much to say in such a short period of time from sustainable STEM education; to pipelining and retaining technical talent most notably women to values from the family that encourage young girls to pursue a technology career track. The group then moved to a location featuring a Brussels youth tech agora with robotics; using technology to create music and so on. European Union Vice President Neeli Kroes along with ITU’s Dr. Hamadoun Toure’ greeted the youth technologists.

Lunch featured the Tech for Girls winners where Cisco and Intel were sponsors. Cisco Belgium and Luxembourg Manager Pol Vanbiervliet presented the awards along with ITU’s Secretary General Hamadoun Toure’.

It should be stated that Cisco is a staunch supporter of Girls in ICT, an initiative of ITU (International Telecommunication Union). In 2010, ITU members agreed to organize Girls in ICT Days on the 4th Thursday of every April. Cisco wants to encourage girls to consider ICT as a valuable career option.

Almost 80 Cisco offices in Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas joined initiative this year to run local programs under the global ITU umbrella.
Additionally, Cisco’s Network Academy is doing a fantastic job with its flagship program in training young men and women globally. Cisco Networking Academy is the world’s largest classroom: with more than 1 million students participating in the program at present.

The afternoon session at the EU Parliament included members from the parliament along with EU Vice President Neelie Kroes, ITU’s Dr. Hamadoun Toure’ and participants from private industry.

The first panel was entitled “Women in ICT Careers: How to Explore Female Talent?”  
Other panel members included Ms. Gianna Martinengo, President of DidaelKTS and President of Women and Technology and Ms. Sakia Van Uffelen, CEO at Bull and CSB Consulting, and Digital Champion for Belgium. The emphasis indeed is that we do have a way to go in order to not only attract BUT to retain women in technology.

Why is this topic so important?
The top jobs of the future: What will be the hottest jobs of the 21st century; which jobs will be most in demand in 10, or 15 years time?
Hybrid jobs: combine ICT with business in every imaginable field. Examples for hybrid jobs: bioengineering, power grid informatics, digital media, social and mobile application development, telemedicine, remote learning systems, developing smart applications for buildings, transport, energy or production.
New job profiles: business analyst, data scientist and so on…

The second panel entitled, “Nourishing the Pipeline: ICT Skills for ICT Jobs” included Ms Kicki Stridh, Board Member, the European Association for Women In Science, Engineering and Technology Sweden; Ms Ruthe Farmer, Director of Strategic Initiatives, National Centre for Women and IT; Ms. Donna Metzlar, Community Advocate, The Genderchangers, and Ms, Nidhi Tandon, Principal Consultant and Trainer, Networked intelligence. The message was clear: Girls when given the confidence to do so can and do pursue technical careers.

The afternoon ended with a live video exchange with Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook and a few members from the Parliament.

(Source: CISCO Blogs)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 12:16:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


On Thursday, April 25, 2013; Rwanda celebrates Girls in ICT day where hundreds of girls participated in this event held at Lycée Notre Dame de Citeaux; where young girls learn more from their elders.

This event has been dubbed ’Girls in ICT Career Fair’ to celebrate the International Girls in ICT day and to encourage girls and young women to consider careers in ICT. The occasion aims to inspire girls to consider a future in technology. This year’s theme is “expanding horizons and changing attitudes”.

Girls in ICT Rwanda was born out of the ITUs Girls in ICT day, today, the group consists of girls in ICT including entrepreneurs, professionals and university students whose mission is to inspire girls to consider ICT as a career option as well help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career. Clarisse Ilibagiza from HeHe mobile speaking to the press said that Rwandan girls are able to use ICT tools effectively.

In his remarks The Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana advises young girls to embrace the culture of hard working and aim higher; “When you are confident, determined, you’re passionate about what you want, if you have a purpose, if you have a goal, if you have integrity and courage you can be very successful”.

Oda Gasinzigwa, the Minister of Family and Gender Promotion noted that “As you are aware, the government is highly committed to promoting ICT as a key driver for rapid socio-economic development. We have put in place an enabling environment for girls to participate and benefit in ICT along with their brothers”.

International Girls in ICT Day in fact, has the aim to make everyone realize that girls are also able to use the new technologies, and that, due to the fact that girls are good at Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Informatics, they have new technologies which change the world on a daily basis.

Moreover, ICT is the fastest growing industry today and more jobs are created in this industry than any other. The same prospects are for the future. ICT has been identified as the industry that will lead forward world economies, improve lives of families across the globe and make the planet a smaller, more accessible place. Therefore, Women and Girls should take a more prominent role in this process.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:49:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Nigeria’s communication technology minister, Omobola Johnson, has encouraged Nigerian women to pursue careers in ICT and bridge the gap between males and females in ICT.

Speaking in Abuja on Girls in ICT Day, Johnson blamed the perception that ICT is only for geeks and men as the reason why, in spite of the advances recorded in ICT across the world, there are not enough women in the sector.

She expressed the commitment of her ministry towards the encouragement of more girls to develop interest in ICT and to erase the perception. ‘’When I was studying engineering, I was one of five girls in a class of about 80. My daughter has just graduated in an engineering degree and she was also one of about five or six girls, so nothing has really changed in 30 years’’, Johnson said.

“We need to ask ourselves why and help remove all the barriers militating against girls and women embracing technology. Some of the barriers limiting women has to do with lack of support and encouragement and the ministry will provide the necessary support by encouraging women to embrace careers in ICTs”.

The highest achieving girls in the sciences from various schools have been invited to a one-week event organised by the ministry to encourage and expose them to sciences with the goal of increasing the number of women and girls in ICT.

Johnson said the ICT sector in Nigeria has tremendous opportunities for women in areas such as software development, telecommunications, IT, space development and electronic engineering.

Addressing girls in Abuja, Johnson said: “You just need to work hard and don’t be retiring. Women tend to think that our work will speak for us – sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Speak out, work hard and don’t be afraid! Women can do it if they try”.

At the event, 35 girls who had excelled in sciences received Vantium Computer Tablets to empower and encourage them to strive for excellence in ICTs.

Further details

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:39:43 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As the ITU Special Envoy for Women and Girls in ICT, I am thrilled to be greeting all the girls around the world, as we celebrate International Girls in ICT Day on 25 April 2013.

Technology is offering large-scale opportunities to empower women and girls, creating a systemic cultural shift by improving how they’re portrayed and represented. These are the tools that will ultimately allow women and girls to reach their full potential.

My awareness of gender imbalance in the media came when I started watching children’s television, videos and movies with my then two-year old daughter, Alizeh. I was stunned to see that there seemed to be far more male characters than female characters in these entertainments that were aimed at the youngest of children.
As a result, I launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and its programming arm called See Jane. We sponsored the largest body of research ever done on gender images in media. The results are stunning: in American family films there is only one female for every three male characters. In group scenes, only 17 per cent of the characters are female. There was no improvement in those numbers over the last 20 years we studied.

Our research also shows that females are missing from critical occupational sectors in entertainment media.

We recently completed a study on the careers of female characters in popular United States television and film, and found that with regard to STEM (Science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers, in family films, males hold 84 per cent of all STEM jobs. This calculates into a ratio of 5 male STEM characters to every one female STEM character.

No female leads or co-leads are shown with STEM careers.

Looking across the categories of computer science and engineering, the ratio of males to females in these arenas is 14.25 to one! And in television, characters with STEM jobs are 79 per cent male and 21 per cent female.

I am happy to say that positive role models exist off-screen. Some tech companies, including Hewlett Packard, IBM, Xerox and Yahoo, are headed by women. But there are just 21 female CEOs leading Fortune 500 companies. It is time to change this imbalance.

New and future technologies, especially broadband will be key to providing women with the means to educate themselves and their children, improve their own health and the health of their families and communities, start their own businesses, keep themselves safe, and innovate to build and shape the future they want.
ITU is focusing on increasing the number of girls and women who want an ICT career; increasing the number of girls and women who receive an education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics; and encouraging ICT businesses to attract, recruit, retain and promote women to achieve long-term sustainability.
Last September, I participated in the Broadband Commission for Digital Development and was very pleased that these leaders are committed to empowering women and girls as part of the digital revolution and agreed to set up a working group on gender.

A major outcome from a meeting on 17 March 2013 in Mexico City is that the Broadband Commission agreed on an ambitious new target designed to spur female access to the power of ICT. The target mandates no less than “gender equality in broadband access by the year 2020”.

Last October, as Special Envoy, I attended the Women with the Wave: High-Level Forum on Digital Inclusion of Women and Girls, in Seoul in the Republic of Korea. The Asian broadcasters, filmmakers, Internet stakeholders, academics and others demonstrated their commitment to lead the change in the images of women and girls in ICT. From Korea’s famous K-dramas to Bollywood musicals, they are looking for the characters that will inspire tomorrow’s technology-centred professionals.
We have the opportunity to ensure that women and girls are fully included in the expansion of the digital world, and that their voice and presence are shaping the United Nations development agenda and strategies beyond the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.

Let us all join hands to achieve the new gender target from the Broadband Commission. I urge all Member States and global CEOs to fully implement the principles in Resolution 70 (Rev. Guadalajara 2010) on “gender mainstreaming in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information and communication technologies”.

Everyone participating today is a change agent, and the media and technology sectors will come together and take a leadership role to promote more positive portrayal of women and girls in the media — starting, if I may, with some inspiring tech-savvy role models in film and television. Because changing perceptions will be the real game changer in achieving greater empowerment and participation of girls and women in the technology sector.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Wednesday, May 01, 2013 11:29:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 25, 2013
With the number of school girls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide, ITU is committed to championing the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls.

To help inspire girls to consider a future in technology, ITU established ‘Girls in ICT Day’ back in 2010 and supports the global organization of activities every year on the fourth Thursday in April. In only its third year, global momentum around Girls in ICT Day continues to grow with over 100 countries expected to hold events hosted by governments, private sector and NGOs in 2013.

Events in Brussels
- ITU has joined the European Commission and European Parliament who are hosting a full-day session in Brussels including a Parliamentary Hearing to debate women in ICT careers and nourishing the pipeline. The European Parliament event can be followed live via webstreaming.

 The ITU Secretary-General will also be addressing the Women2020 panel session on Women in STEM for Smart Growth. The Women2020 event can be followed live via webstreaming.

Speeches :
Women2020 Breakfast: Dr Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General

Events at ITU Premises
Back at ITU Headquarters, in ICT Discovery museum, ITU and the Mission of the United States in Geneva have co-organized workshops for local school girls on satellites, coding, mobile apps, + video, together with the chance to meet expert role models.

Speeches:
- Ambassador Betty E. King
- Mr Philippe Metzger, BDT Deputy Director

- The ITU Regional Offices of Cairo and Moscow are also hosting Girls in ICT Day activities.

Girls in ICT Days around the world


(Source: ITU)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:34:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
When carrying out school visits, Girls in ICT members speak to teenage girls and encourage them to consider ICT as a career option and also help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career, writes Doreen Umutesi.

About fifteen girls formed a group which they named Girls in ICT Rwanda. Its main objective is to tour schools and encourage more girls to take on courses in Information Communication technology (ICT).

The Girls in ICT Rwanda launched their annual activity calendar on March 22nd, 2013 at a Networking Night with their guest speaker, Ann Mei Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the US Department of State.

The activities stipulated in their calendar involve encouraging women entrepreneurs in ICT, visiting schools to talk to girls and encouraging them to take on courses in ICT.
When carrying out school visits, Girls in ICT members speak to teenage girls and encourage them to consider ICT as a career option and also help them to understand and appreciate the importance of developing ICT skills in any career.

In an interview with Akaliza Keza Gara a member of Girls in ICT and Founder of Shaking Sun a multimedia company, she said that the government supports initiatives that empower women in ICT.

"One of our main goals is to encourage more girls offering ICT courses to join Girls in ICT Rwanda. When I talk to young girls, a lot of them say that they see it as a man's subject because people we see in the media doing ICT initiatives are often men. Even when they go to school they are surrounded by men so the girls tend to lose interest because they feel they are the odd ones", Akaliza explains.

She also said that there are allegations that women feel intimidated when they are surrounded by men hence women work better when they are surrounded by fellow women.

"Girls are just choosing not to take on ICT so as Girls in ICT Rwanda, part of what we do is to encourage and show them that if we took on the ICT course they can do the same. We encourage them to join us as the rallying troupes' idea. Our target after this year is to find out how many schools we visited and how many girls are offering ICT courses to measure our impact", Akaliza Discloses.

(Source: All Africa News)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:08:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Intel Corporation and the 10x10 campaign, partners on the new feature film "Girl Rising", today announced they will work with policymakers in low- and middle-income countries to develop transformative education and technology policies that empower women, achieve gender equity in access to quality education and accelerate economic development.

Together, Intel and 10x10 will develop and host gender equity and education policy workshops, and develop regional policy frameworks based on key gender needs. The workshops will help governments think deeply about issues of gender equity as they develop national policy plans for broader education transformation.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations report, "What Works in Girls' Education", each year of secondary schooling increases a girl's future wages by 10 to 20 percent. At the national level, increasing the share of women with secondary education by just 1 percent increases a country's annual GDP by an average of .3 percent. Yet studies from the United Nations and International Labour Organization show that in 2009, girls accounted for 53 percent of all out-of-school children and 87 million women were unemployed in 2010, up from 76 million in 2007.

"We've seen first-hand the transformational change that can occur when girls have access to an education", said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "By working with 10x10 and policymakers to improve gender equity in education, Intel is taking the vital message of 'Girl Rising' into action. Together, we can empower girls and help them become agents of positive change in their communities".

"By sharing the personal stories of these nine girls, 'Girl Rising' illustrates just how important education is in the movement to empower women and girls", said Holly Gordon, 10x10's executive director. "Our partnership with Intel to provide decision makers in developing countries with scalable policy solutions to expand gender equity in education marks the next step in our commitment to change both minds and policy to positively impact girls' lives".

Through the policy workshops, Intel and 10x10 will help leaders determine how to utilize technology to facilitate gender equity across school policy, curriculum and assessment, teacher development, and research and evaluation. These efforts will build on Intel's existing policy framework, which leverages education policy and information and communications technologies (ICTs) to create mechanisms for empowering girls and achieving gender equity in education at scale.

(Source: Intel)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 4:59:36 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

Join the ITU team and special guests for a day of tech-oriented activities

With the number of schoolgirls opting to study technology-related disciplines on the decline in most countries worldwide, ITU is committed to championing the catalytic role a tech career can play in creating exciting, far-reaching opportunities for women and girls.

ICT jobs are consistently ranked among the top 20 careers with the best pay and best long-term prospects, and the technology industry remains one of the world’s most robust sectors, creating strong ongoing demand for young tech professionals.

To help inspire girls to consider a future in technology, ITU established ‘Girls in ICT Day’ back in 2010, and supports the global organization of activities every year on the fourth Thursday in April. Global momentum around Girls in ICT Day continues to grow, with 1,300 events held by governments, the private sector and NGOs in 87 countries in 2012 reaching over 30,000 school-age girls, and around 100 countries are expected to hold events this year.

To celebrate this important day, journalists are invited to join ITU staff on April 25 for a programme of workshops and inspiring discussion with local schoolgirls aged 13-17.

What: ‘Girls in ICT Day’ at ITU

When: 08:30am - 14:30pm, 25 April, 2013
          8:30-9:00 Registration and coffee (please bring photo ID or UN press badge), + welcoming remarks by Philippe Metzger (ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau)
          9:00-10:00 Guided tour of ICT Discovery
          10:00-11:20 Workshops on mobile app development and web coding
          11:30-13:00 Workshops on Flash video game development and video production
          13:00-14:30 Informal lunch with female ICT professionals, including the chance to chat to students and speakers.
Where: ICT Discovery Museum, 2nd floor, Montbrillant building, ITU headquarters, Place des Nations, Geneva

Who: Around 80 girls from schools in the Geneva area (including France voisine), with ITU technical staff and other experts.

Registration to attend this event is essential. Journalists are requested to confirm their attendance to pressinfo@itu.int by close of business Tuesday 23 April. If you do not have a UN media badge, please ensure you bring photo ID with you in order to obtain a Visitor badge.

Follow the event on Twitter at @ ITU #GirlsinICT. The full story of Girls in ICT Day 2013 is being curated at http://storify.com/ITU/girls-in-ict-day-2013 and through ITU’s campaign Facebook page www.facebook.com/TechNeedsGirls.

Photos from event will be available for download from ITU’s Flickr site at: www.flickr.com/photos/itupictures/sets/72157633221090112/

For more information on this event please contact:

Sarah Parkes
Chief, Media Relations & Public Information, ITU
+41 22 730 6135
sarah.parkes@itu.int

Nicolas Jammes
Coordinator, International Girls in ICT Day
+41 22 730 5996
nicolas.jammes@itu.int

(Source: ITU Newsroom)

Thursday, April 25, 2013 10:46:35 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, April 24, 2013
On April 25th 2013, Women in Technology in Nigeria (WITIN) will join the world to mark the International Girls in ICT day, an initiative of the ITU to advance a universal environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to pick up careers in the growing information and communication technologies (ICTs) sector.

WITIN is organizing a one-day conference themed- Women and Girls in Technology - Expanding Horizons. This inaugural high-level conference will bring together high school students and women in Nigeria to discuss how to foster women’s contributions and empowerment through ICT as well as to celebrate the feats of young girls in the just concluded Technovation challenge.



Keynote speakers include Hon. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman Diaspora Committee of the Nigeria Federal House of Rep. representing Ikorodu Federal Constituency in Lagos State, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, Honourable Minister, Fed. Ministry of Science and Technology and Ann Mei Chang, Senior Advisor for Women and Technology at the US Department of State under the chairmanship of Chief Oma Eyewuoma, Exec. Vice-President, Technical Conoil Producing Ltd, Nigeria.

Ann Mei Chang pointed out that “Women and girls continue to be dramatically underrepresented in the ICT field around the world. Not only is this an issue of opportunity for individual women and girls, but as the ICT sector continues its outsized growth it will increasingly contribute to a talent gap which leaves critical jobs unfilled. Girls often lack role models and may be discouraged from pursuing ICT by parents, teachers, or peers. Girls in ICT Day is an important event to raise visibility of the many successful women who have pursued ICT careers”.

Other speakers include Njideka Jack of MTN Nigeria, Folakemi Olawolu of Phase3 Telecoms, Chinyere Edward Azike of Signal Alliance Limited, Adedoyin Jaiyesimi of YNaija, Martha Omoekpen Alade of Women in Technology in Nigeria and Samuel Eyitayo of the U.S. Consulate General, Lagos.

The CEO of Phase3 Telecom Mr. Stanley Jegede states that “women are often unsung heroes in the advancement of Information Technology especially on the African Continent; it is why Phase3 Telecom as an equal opportunities employer is focused on influencing and driving the needed change in this reality. Ensuring women contribute at least 47% to the Phase3 Telecom workforce”. Thus; he commends ITU’s celebration of women in the advancement of Technology around the globe through the Girls in ICT initiative. He emphasizes the need for the IT industry to actively encourage and champion the indelible contribution of women to the development of new technologies and innovation in our world. Also in this vein, the president of ISPON Dr Chris Uwaje Lauds the feat of the young winners of the Mobile App Challenge who will be celebrated also on the Girls in ICT day.

Highlights of the event also include recognition of the winners of Technology Affects Me- TAM; mini-challenge for girls and young women. Short Presentations will be made by teams who took part in the Technovation Challenge, a program of Iridescent. The team facilitators include Esther Ugbodaga of Channels TV, Toyosi Odukoya of MTN Nigeria, Nnenna Ugwu of EDC Pan African University and Ijeoma Abazie of Microsoft Nigeria. The winners will also be announced and awarded; they hopefully will represent Nigeria and travel to Silicon Valley CA to compete globally on May 2nd. The event will be held at Twitter HQ and will be co-hosted by Twitter and LinkedIn. The Secretary General of ITU, Dr Hamadoun Touré will be rooting for the Nigerian team in Silicon Valley.

(Source: Women in Technology in Nigeria)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:32:38 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
With women projected to comprise a majority of the world’s urban dwellers and head increasing numbers of households, gender equality in employment, housing, health and education is vital to ensure the prosperity of the cities of the future, according to a new United Nations study.

“Women are key drivers of economic growth and that wealth in the hands of women leads to much more equitable outcomes in terms of the quality of life of families and communities”, the study, entitled State of Women in Cities Report 2012/13, said. “Addressing the barriers to women’s participation in cities creates a situation where women’s potential is more fully realized and households, communities and governments also reap rewards”.

“It is imperative that women and men should enjoy equal rights and opportunities in cities on moral/ethical, economic and political grounds. This will not only engender women’s well-being but it will increase their individual and collective prosperity, as well as the prosperity of the cities in which they reside”.

Produced by the Nairobi-based UN Human Settlements Programme, known as UN-HABITAT, which is mandated to promote socially and environmentally sustainable towns and cities with the goal of providing adequate shelter for all, the report also stressed the need to address unemployment and other disadvantages that hobble urban youth.
The report called for policies to enhance gender equality, equity and prosperity of women in cities, noting that cities of the future will comprise a majority female component, especially among people older than 60 and even more so among those older than 80 years.

While underscoring the unpaid caring and social activities that women undertake, such as childcare, caring for the sick, disabled and elderly, washing, cleaning and other community services that allow the urban economy to function and prosper, even if this labour is seldom recognized or valued, the report stressed the “crucially important” economic contributions they make through their paid work.

“The ‘feminization’ of the global labour force tends to be associated with urbanization, with the related concentration of women in export-manufacturing, the service sector and Information, Communication and Technology (ICT)”, it said, adding that women, especially the urban poor, are disadvantaged in terms of equal access to employment, housing, health and education, asset ownership, experiences of urban violence, and ability to exercise their rights.

UN-HABITAT’s State of Urban Youth Report 2012/2013 stressed that while the young are “society’s most important and dynamic human resource” – with 1.3 billion between ages 12 and 24, most of them living in urban areas – nearly 45 per cent of them, some 515 million, live on less than $2 a day.

It called for better aligning educational and training systems with the current and future needs of young people, so that they cannot only discern developmental issues but may even be capable of suggesting innovative solutions to deep problems of development and growth.



(Source: UN News Centre)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 3:18:11 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Cabinet of Social Policy trained 280 girls from primary school in Nigua, San Cristobal, as part of a series of seminars and workshops conducted in the Technology Community Center (CTC), which dedicated the month of April to promote technology approach in the youth of this location.

The activities are framed in the Forum "ICT learning in 21st Century", through which girls from eighth-grade of Nigua School were trained.
Moisés Esterling de Jesús Cedano, computer center manager, said that in the educational forum girls are taught in various aspects of the use of information technology and the technology available.

"With this continued efforts from the government, through the Community Technology Centers set up by the Cabinet of Social Policy across the country and which is directed by the vice president, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, we want to reduce the digital divide in the Dominican population", said Esterling de Jesús Cedano.
He added that the workshops of "technological tools" and "Information and Communication Technology" involve groups from different schools, colleges, neighborhood associations, NGOs and other community organizations which receive the necessary knowledge for widely different aspects of technology, communication and best uses. The activities include panels, forums, lectures, practical exercises, presentations and exhibitions of technological tools that are used today, plus other trips to the ITLA and other interesting places.

Alfredina Samboy Beltré, one of the girls in eighth grade of basic education, said that she was interested because she likes the communication and interact through the use of technology.

Also, Archy Yoselín Rijo Nova, 14 years old, from Boca de Nigua school, said that in addition to participating in forums and lectures given on technology, she wants to learn English in the courses taught at the CTCs, which are very important for people who want to travel to other countries. "I'm here in the ICT Education Forum to learn about technology and the use of computers, projector and other technological aspects", said Danilca Brito Germán, 13 years old, who participated in one of the talks.

(Source: Vicepresidencia Dominican Republic)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 2:12:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 18, 2013
In order to promote the interest of girls worldwide to study careers related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT), the specialized agency in Telecommunications of the UN commemorates every year the International Day of Girls in ICT.

The commemoration held annually on the fourth Thursday in April and this year will be held on 25th of this month by an urgent call to the school principals, teachers and guidance counselors to show to their female students the excellent job prospects that open for them in the ICT sector.



Another objective of the commemoration of this day is that companies are aware of the low participation of women in this area and hire, retain and promote women in charges related to the use of technology.

The UN initiative is born because the worrying global figures which shows the lack of interest of women in developing their careers around the use of technologies. For example, the proportion of women who work as computer science professionals in Europe is extremely small: according to a report by Eurostat, in 2006 only 0.7% of ICT professionals were women and this figure remained unchanged since 2001. In Latin America, the scenario is not different, so if you want to review documents related to this topic, we recommend the articles published in regional site of UNESCO Women, Science and Technology.

Activities to do with your students that day:

- Make field trips to government offices, non-governmental agencies (NGOs), businesses, museums,
science, etc.. These will let girls to have first-hand contact with women leaders who use ICT in their daily work.

- Conduct workshops to raise awareness about the importance of ICT in the daily operation of the world today and show how women can take a leadership role every day.

- Make a presentation in the classroom with pictures and posters  what display the path of women with successful careers in organizations in the ICT sector.

- Develop biographies of famous women, leaders in ICT-related areas. Both girls and boys should conduct research on the Internet that will let them to prepare a list of women and write their biographies. The list should include many local women as well.

- Invite to an ICT industry leader to speak to all students. Ask whose words inspire young women to choose careers in this field study.

- Contact a local college or nearby and invite women teachers in ICT-related subjects to conduct workshops with students, professionals picnics, lectures, etc.

Finally, on the site http://girlsinict.org/ you can check how this day was celebrated last year and get ideas of how celebrate this day with your students.  If you need more information you can contact the team of Girls in ICT in girlsinict@itu.int

(Source: Eduteka and Educacion 360)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:33:29 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the Vice President of Intel Corporate Affairs Group Shelly Esque signed a five-year Framework agreement on 13 April to build capacity in engineering and science worldwide, and harness information and communication technologies (ICTs) for educational advancement.

“We are longtime partners because there are strong synergies between Intel and UNESCO, combining new ideas and innovation with our policy drive for quality education”, said Mrs Bokova after the signing at UNESCO Headquarters. “This agreement opens new opportunities. There is a crying demand today for knowledge, science, education and new technologies, and we need to help Member States gain the full benefit of this knowledge and innovation for driving their development”. Ms Esque affirmed that UNESCO and Intel share similar goals, highlighting that the Framework agreement would open new doors.

UNESCO and Intel will work on improving and delivering learning tools on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) for sustainable development, enhancing STEM capacities of universities, supporting the UNESCO Engineering Initiative through engineering education projects, and using ICTs in education policies and master plans. The agreement foresees a special focus on Africa, one of UNESCO’s global priorities, together with gender.

The agreement also seeks to enhance the participation of girls, disadvantaged students and women in STEM. UNESCO and Intel will cooperate on specific projects targeting girls and women as part of UNESCO’s Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women, which was launched in 2011 and focuses on secondary education and adult literacy, especially in Africa and Asia.

Intel and UNESCO have been cooperating since 2004 when the first Memorandum of Understanding, focusing on developing guidelines to improve the quality of ICT teacher training programmes, was signed.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:10:31 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In 2012, many African nations celebrated International Girls In ICT Day. We counted 13 official events in Sub-Saharan Africa (Uganda, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Togo, Swaziland, Senegal, Mali, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, DRC, The Gambia, and Tanzania). In less than two weeks, International Girls in ICT Day will again be held the world over. The initiative, launched by the ITU with the purpose of raising awareness of the importance of involving girls in ICT fields, aims to promote the benefits that ICT careers may offer.
 


Once again, a variety of African tech stakeholders will sponsor dedicated events for girls interested in ICT. So far, at least five African countries will hold a gathering during the week of April 25th:

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Rudi International will organize another program in Goma. Expect a training workshop and a cultural event whose themes revolve around Internet security and the Internet as a tool for development.

Senegal: The Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy intends to make this day a moment of reflection, sharing, and strategic focus on the problem of girls’ digital training. A variety of panels and speeches will take place throughout the day.

Kenya: On April 27th, AkiraChix will be hosting a Girls in ICT day event aiming at exposing young women to career opportunities available in the tech industry.

Nigeria: Event to be held at Digital Peers Intl, Abuja. More events will most likely be held in Lagos.

Rwanda: Carnegie Mellon University – Rwanda may be hosting an event.

Also, a webinar co-presented by Ronda Zelezny-Green will feature Kenyan and Moroccan perspectives on gender and mobile learning.

Check out ITU’s Girls in ICT Day 2013 Storify or follow #GirlsinICT for the latest info!

(Source: Oafrica News)

Thursday, April 18, 2013 10:04:18 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 15, 2013
On March 27, three young women from CERN participated via a video link in the UN Economic and Social Council “Youth Forum”, delivering a series of recommendations to improve the situation for women in science. During this all-day event held in New York, young people were invited to contribute ideas on how to improve our world, no less.

ECOSOC is still seeking input from young people ahead of its 1 July meeting where governments will meet in Geneva to address the important topics of Science, Technology, Innovation and Culture. They will adopt a Ministerial Declaration for scaling up actions in this field.

At the start of the meeting, the United Nations Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon asked the young audience if the UN was doing enough for youth. A resounding “No” came back from the audience but he got the opposite answer when he said “Could the UN do more for the world’s youth?”

This ECOSOC meeting provided CERN with its first opportunity to engage directly with a UN organization since it was granted Observer status at the United Nations General Assembly last December.

Three graduate students currently based at CERN were speaking during the “Women in Science” session on behalf of a larger group of young women scientists who had gathered to draft a series of recommendations aiming at improving the situation of women in science.

Kate Pachal, a young Canadian woman currently enrolled in a PhD program at Oxford, discussed what could be done to attract more women into science. Her three points were:

- Fight gender stereotypes at all levels. Improve the representation of women in textbooks, including in the phrasing of problems; Use gender-neutral language when referring to scientists; Increase the visibility of women scientists in the general culture by providing more female contacts for the media.

- Help young people build a strong “physics identity”: Students who do not feel good at maths or science do not pursue a career in it. Encouragements from peers, teachers and family help young girls believe in their own ability. Classroom activities such as having discussions on cutting-edge physics topics, being encouraged to ask questions or teaching peers all contribute to build a strong  “physics identity”. Having discussions on why fewer women are in science also helps young women see the problem does not come from them but has social roots.

- Provide role models and mentors for young women. Do it at all stages. Hold career fairs to reinforce girls’ self-esteem and provide a context where they can discuss with other girls facing similar challenges. Provide places where young women can talk with peers and find support.

Sarah seif el Nasr, an Egyptian-Canadian doctoral student at CERN, delivered three recommendations to hire more women in physics and science in general:

- Implement anonymous job application processes. The applicant’s gender should be hidden during the job application process to avoid gender bias since a study revealed that both men and women discriminate against women. The number of female musicians tripled at five major orchestras once job applicants performed behind a curtain.

- Implement equitable parental leaves. Both men and women should be given parental leaves and men strongly encouraged to take them. Young women of child-bearing age would then be less likely to be disfavored in hiring if both parents had to share the weight more equally. Shared or split positions would also allow both parents to participate equally in child responsibilities.

- Add spousal considerations to hiring processes. Institutions should recognize the existence of the dual-career situation and choose to deal with it since half the women with a PhD in physics have a spouse with similar education level (as opposed to only 20% for men). Institutions should take action before beginning a search to provide assistance for spouses and consider split/shared positions. This would help young women find positions without taxing their relationships.

Finally, Barbara Millan Mejias, a Venezuelan graduate student at University of Zurich, explained what can be done to retain women in science:

- Provide mentors for young women starting their careers. The mentor should be different from their boss or supervisor and have proper institutional support. The mentor could for example make sure the young woman progresses properly, that she is given adequate funding and support, that she gets to attend meetings and give talks at various conferences. The mentor should be able to advise the young women on academic and professional issues.

- Have broad discussions about gender issues at large scientific meetings. Men are often unaware of the situation faced by women in science and lack opportunities to discuss this situation, even though they are most often open to it. Men often unconsciously discriminate against women. Education would improve the situation.

- Hold scientific meetings for women where young women could see how valuable women’s work is, find positive reinforcement, get to talk with peers and get support. This would also provide a place for discussions on issues facing young women as well as opportunities to share experiences and support each other.

- Implement equitable parental leaves. This point is crucial not only at hiring time but also to retain young women in science.

(Source: Quantum Diaries)

Monday, April 15, 2013 1:23:31 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, April 11, 2013
As the International Girls in ICT Day draws near, MainOne Cable Company says it is ready to partner with e-Business Life Communication to ensure the successful hosting of the event in Nigeria.

The International Girls in ICT Day celebration is an initiative of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to bring young girls to the knowledge and active participation in fashioning the ICT landscape of their various countries is billed to hold in Lagos on April 25, 2013 and goes with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”.

MainOne Cable Company, the major sponsor at the 2012 edition of the event agreed to partner with eBusiness Life due to the company’s alignment to the vision of the campaign aimed at drawing attention of growing girls to the profession of ICT and how they can contribute their quota to the growth and development of the profession both in their local domain and globally.

CEO of MainOne Cable Company, Ms. Funke Opeke had also called on other companies that have the growth of Nigeria’s ICT industry in mind to join in ensuring that the event is a huge success.

Also joining the growing number of partners, Omatek, a pioneer indigenous integrated IT system builder says the campaign will be a veritable platform to engage young girls and help them actualize their future in a field that was once seen as the exclusive preserve of the male gender.

CEO of Omatek, Mrs Florence Seriki had earlier pointed out the need to have more female IT practitioners to enable the industry grow faster on a balanced scale.
The partnership with MainOne and Omatek is a testimonial to the importance of the campaign in Nigeria, as both companies were also part of the previous edition of the event.

Chief Executive Officer, eBusiness Life Communication, Mrs Ufuoma Emuophedaro, while speaking on preparations for the event further disclosed that special awards will be given to women who have been exceptional in the growth of the ICT industry in Nigeria. She also revealed that prominent Nigerian women, both in the public and private sectors of the industry will grace the occasion.

She applauded the contributions of the CEOs of MainOne and Omatek to the growth and development of the country’s ICT industry, describing the two women as “amazons in the industry”.

Expressing her optimism to the success of the event, Mrs. Emuophedaro noted that corporate organizations are interested in the campaign because they know it is the right thing to do. According to her, “This is the right thing to do, and the right time to do it. If other countries have observed the need to grow this industry through encouraging young girls, then, we should not be left behind. We must make sure that our young girls are given the chance to prove themselves in this all-important field”.
She stated that the Girls in ICT Day workshop and subsequent campaign will further open up opportunities for girls in ICT sector.

(Source: Daily Independent News)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:59:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
International Girls’ in ICT Day, an initiative that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs), will take place on April 25th.

As part of this global initiative a number of different event and activities will be taking place that give girls the chance to gain a better understanding of the opportunities that the ICT sector holds for their future.

In the lead up to this year’s International Girls’ in ICT Day Intel Ireland will be sharing each week, through their newsroom, profiles of females who are working in ICT related roles at their campus in Leixlip, Ireland.

In addition, Intel is giving people the chance to participate in their ‘Girls in ICT’ competition, which is running each week from now until April 25th on their Twitter and Facebook accounts.

To be in with a chance to win an Intel powered RAZRi smartphone, simply follow the Intel Ireland Twitter feed (@Intel_IRL) and answer the question they post on Monday April 8th and Monday April 22nd, be sure to use the #IRLGirlsinICT hashtag in each answer so that they can track your entry. Or you can enter via Facebook on Monday April 15th by liking the Intel Ireland page and answering (through comment) the question posted as a status update.

For full terms and conditions click here:

(Source: Intel)

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:54:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


The Girls in ICT Essay competition is on again!

Last year the theme was on Girls can do ICT. This year the theme is on creating opportunities and changing attitudes that will encourage more Girls into ICT. Research consistently shows that girls tend to choose carriers where they feel they can make a difference such as healthcare, education and medicine but not ICT. Therefore the challenge for the ICT industry globally is how to change this trend to get more girls choosing careers in ICT. Some work has been done in PNG to empower and educate more girls and women but the challenge remains to create those opportunities that will attract more girls into ICT. Therefore the issue we need to address is:

“How can we expand ICT horizons (opportunities) for Girls and what attitudes do we need to change to provide these opportunities”

Competition Eligibility:
- Competition is open to FEMALE Grade 10, 11 & 12 students only.
- Dependents of NICTA staff are not eligible to enter.
- Competition opens on the 26th of March 2013 and closes on the 15th of April 2013 (3 weeks). Any entries received after the closing date will not be considered.

Winners will be announced on the NICTA website on the 25th of April, 2013 to observe the Girls in ICT Day.

Further Information

Thursday, April 11, 2013 3:46:23 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, April 08, 2013
Ann Mei Chang, the Senior Advisor for Women and Technology in the Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues at the US Department of State wants girls in Rwanda to embrace and effectively use modern telecommunication technologies because they have the potential to enhance business undertakings.
Chang noted that during her 3 days stay in Rwanda where she visited different Ministries but mainly she met the Girls in ICT Rwanda to have talks on how to increase the number of Girls in ICT in Rwanda.

This was revealed during the official launching of Girls in ICT Network last Friday, where Mrs. Chang told them that there’s a path for women to get into ICT. She noted that women are more practical by nature and they can compete in ICT sector.

Speaking to The New Times, Akaliza Keza Gara from Girls in ICT Rwanda, said that “Our aim is to see girls in Rwanda embrace information technology because that is the direction Rwanda is taking”.

Representatives from the Ministry of Youth and ICT, Rwanda Development Board, Nike Girl Hub, Imbuto Foundation and DOT Rwanda participated in the ceremony.
Later that evening, there was a networking event of the Girls in ICT Rwanda at Telecom house boardroom. The girls were able to have one on one conversation with those who have made it as a Girl in ICT and the calendar for the different activities for the year was shared.



(Source: Ministry of Youth and ICT - Rwanda)

Monday, April 08, 2013 2:31:06 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


 “Our future is shaped by technology and, with over 95% of all jobs now having a digital component, the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector is a exciting place to be”, says the official flyer.

More Information



Monday, April 08, 2013 2:25:09 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 


TAM is a mini-challenge for girls and young women "as part of the ITU's Girls in ICT project & Tech Needs Girls campaign" to upload a less than 60 seconds video telling us how technology has amazed and affected them & how far it can take the world at this time.
To participate, visit www.witin.org/wap on your mobile device, or email your video to tam@witin.org

Further information

Monday, April 08, 2013 2:11:45 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 28, 2013
The Vice President of the Republic, Dr. Margarita Cedeño de Fernández, was appointed by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as a sponsor of an educational project to promote the use of Information and Communication Technologies between children and adolescents through the project "Technology needs girls". In a letter sent by Dr. Hamadoun I. Touré, ITU Secretary-General, the body recognizes the work developed by the Vice President of the Republic through the 89 Community Technology Centers located in remote communities of the country, which have changed the lives of thousands of children and adolescents.

The project will allow children and adolescents to participate in local activities that allow them to remove barriers so that girls have the opportunity to explore careers in technology.

This recognition includes the Vice President to continue promoting the celebration on April 25 2013, the Day of  Girls in ICT , date that has been commemorated as the "Day of the Tecnochicas", with the aim of integrating girls from 14 to 19 years old in technology.

The Day of Girls in ICT was established by Resolution 70, which was updated and adopted by the Plenipotentiary Conference of the ITU held in Guadalajara, Mexico, in October 2010. The Resolution "Mainstreaming a gender policy in ITU and promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women through information technologies and communication" provides for the incorporation of a gender policy in all plans and ITU programs.

In May 2007, being the First Lady of the Republic, the Vice president Cedeño de Fernández received the "Award of the ITU World Information Society" for her contribution to ensure that technology services are available to residents of the poorest areas of the Dominican Republic. The ITU Award on Information Society is granted to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the construction of the information society. Personal achievement may take the form of social achievements, mobilizing public opinion or a key technical innovation.

(Source: Newspaper El Nacional)

Thursday, March 28, 2013 6:51:51 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, March 22, 2013
Coordinated by UNESCO, the Report emphasizes the importance of broadband as a means of accelerating progress towards the Millennium Development Goal of Universal Primary Education and the Education for All goals. Less than three years away from the target date for achieving these goals, 61 million children of primary-school age, and a further 71 million of lower secondary-school age, are not in school. In addition, close to 793 million adults – 64% of them women – lack literacy skills, with the lowest rates in sub-Saharan Africa and South and West Asia.

“Education is a human right that strengthens the dignity and capacities of women and men -- it is also a motor for the sustainable development of societies as a whole” emphasized UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, in presenting the Report to the Commission. “We must make the most of every accelerator towards 2015, and we know broadband technology is one key accelerator, leading a revolution in how we communicate, live and learn”.

At the meeting the Director-General also welcomed the adoption by the Commission of a new advocacy target “to ensure gender equality in broadband access by 2020”. According to data presented at the meeting, the difference in use of Internet between men and women is about 25%. This reaches 45% in Sub-Saharan Africa.
“Broadband can empower women by connecting them to a wide range of resources -- to learn, to improve health, to engage in income-generating activities and to create content”, the Director General emphasized. “We often speak of the digital divide – this masks also a gender divide”. Gender equality is one of two cross-cutting priorities of UNESCO and the adopted advocacy target will serve a reference on Organization’s work.

The full version of “Technology, Broadband and Education: Advancing the Education for All Agenda” can be downloaded here.

(Source: UNESCO)

Friday, March 22, 2013 4:46:50 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Girls In Tech – Egypt (GIT) is a global organization focused on women's innovative and entrepreneurial achievements in technology. Now Broadcasting from EGYPT.
GIT to kickstart 2013 with Mega Tech Event - More details to come!


 
Further details

Friday, March 22, 2013 4:38:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, March 13, 2013
To mark International Women’s Day, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics released an interactive tool to highlight the progress and pitfalls in girls’ and women’s education.

This tool uses a game approach to engage a general audience of a wide age range (including teachers, students, activists, pupils, etc) concerning gender disparities in enrollment and transition rates from primary to secondary and tertiary education. Users put themselves into the game by creating their own characters and then compare their situation with those of other characters around the world. They can also explore the data further by using a ‘time machine’ to change the settings of their characters.

This tool will be available from 01 to 15 March, in English, French and Spanish to reach a wide audience. The UIS seeks the support of UNESCO Headquarters, field offices, associated school networks and other partners (NGOs, IGOs, etc.) to promote this product, which will be automatically updated with new data in the future. The general appeal of this tool/game offers great potential for UNESCO’S social media channels.

Mind the Gap link: http://www.uis.unesco.org/Education/Pages/mind-the-gap.aspx?SPSLanguage=EN



(Source: UNESCO)


Wednesday, March 13, 2013 7:12:12 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, March 07, 2013
The Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) is pleased to announce its first Girls Technology Camp of 2013, which is scheduled to take place from April 8 – 12 in Lagos, Nigeria.

The camp, which is aimed at encouraging girls to learn and use information and communication technology for their social and economic development, will also celebrate International Girls’ in ICT Day. International Girls’ in ICT Day is an initiative backed by the International Telecommunications Union, to create a global environment that empowers and encourages girls and young women to consider careers in the growing field of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

The W.TEC Girls Technology Camp is a technology education and mentoring programme organized by W.TEC, with the objective of helping girls develop an early interest in computers and other information technology. For the camp duration, the girls will participate in technology workshops. The long-term goal is to increase the numbers of Nigerian women using technology productively for learning, professional and leadership activities.

The camp is open to secondary school students and workshops will include Graphic Design, Movie-Making, Web Design and Introduction to Programming.

To find out more about the camp and to register: email info@w-teconline.org or call +234.1.850.9782, 234.818.870.9251.

W.TEC is a Nigerian non-governmental organization working to encourage Nigerian girls and women to use information and communication technology (ICT) to empower themselves socially and economically. This is done through technology literacy training, technology-based projects, mentoring, work placement and research. W.TEC works in partnership with local and international NGOs, educational and research organizations.



Further details
(Source: W.TEC)

Thursday, March 07, 2013 4:14:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
On April 2, World Pulse is launching the fourth annual year of Voices of Our Future, their online training program in new media, citizen journalism and empowerment that gives a new generation of emerging leaders the skills and knowledge they need to actualize and vocalize their visions for themselves, their communities and the world.

During the month-long application process, women from around the world receive learning materials via online classroom introducing them to the frontiers of new media and women’s empowerment. They  are asked to complete four short writing assignments, which are evaluated by their volunteer Listeners and staff. Later they invite 30 of those women to join their six month training program starting in June.

Benefits of the full program include:
- New media and citizen journalism training by renowned experts, including program partners The Global Press Institute and The Op-Ed Project
- Personal mentoring sessions and support from a Vision Mentor
- An Editorial Mentor to help hone your unique voice
- Opportunities for publication through World Pulse and partner media organizations
- Opportunities to connect with grassroots women leaders from around the globe
- Increased visibility for issues and challenges faced by you and your community

In the last two years, over 1,700 women from 140 countries have applied. Join the growing wave of empowered voices across the globe!
Visit the "Voices of Our Future" Application Group to apply

Further details

Thursday, March 07, 2013 4:01:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
As part of the European Commission and United Nations joint celebration of International Girls in ICT Day this year, a series of activities promoting girls and women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics  (STEM) will be carried out in Brussels on 25 April 2013.

DigitalMuse.org announced that, as part of their activities, DigitalMuse.org has been asked to collaborate on delivering hands on workshops promoting digital skills to girls, and that their parent organization, Zen Digital Europe, will contribute to an EU Parliamentary hearing on the topic of “women in technology” on that day.

Learn more here and here about their activities last year for “Girls in ICT Day”, and be sure to stay tuned for further details about the 2013 “Girls in ICT” events in Brussels and to learn, how you can be involved!

Further details

Thursday, March 07, 2013 3:39:47 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Wednesday, February 27, 2013
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), with partners Qtel Group and AusAID, announced the winners of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, which aims to redefine the smartphone user experience for resource-poor women in emerging markets.

The GSMA mWomen Design Challenge was created to simplify the smartphone user interface to help overcome reading and technical literacy barriers for women. Twenty-two per cent of women surveyed in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea and Uganda who do not use mobile phones say it is because they do not know how to use them.

Qtel Group CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih presented the Grand Prize of $20,000 USD to Jeremy Canfield, Sarah Fathallah and Angel Kittiyachavalit for their design, ‘Sahel Shake’, at a ceremony today at Mobile World Congress 2013. Second place, with a prize of $10,000 USD, was awarded to Aloke Pillai of the York Sheridan Design Program for ‘mpower’. The Emerging Talent Prize of $10,000 USD, which is reserved for an entry from emerging markets to ensure entrepreneurs are able to compete alongside professional design firms, was awarded to Raphael Mutiso, from Kenya for his entry ‘Simplified Grayscale Power Efficient Interface’. See here for a description of the winning programs and finalists.

“The standard of entries was extremely high, but the winning submissions were outstanding and we heartily congratulate them all”, said Chris Locke, Managing Director, GSMA Mobile for Development and member of the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge selection panel. “Designing for the specific needs of resource-poor consumers is vital to increasing access to mobile’s social benefits, as well as increasing commercial value for the mobile industry”.

Dr. Nasser Marafih, Qtel Group CEO, said on presenting the Grand Prize: “We are delighted to be involved in the GSMA mWomen Design Challenge, as it seeks to address technical literacy issues for under-served communities around the world. The energy, creativity and innovation demonstrated by all the entrants are an inspiration and we believe that the winning entries will play a vital role in enriching the lives of women in the near future. Our congratulations go to the winners, and our thanks go to the GSMA and all the partners for their support for this competition. We are looking forward to exploring the opportunity to bring to market those innovations”.

In emerging markets, feature phones with basic voice and SMS capabilities are currently the standard. However, smartphones are forecasted to proliferate in these markets over the next few years, becoming the main way people in developing countries will access information, the internet and its associated benefits. Yet, there is a mobile phone gender gap in low to middle-income countries, where 21 per cent fewer women than men have access to this potentially life-enhancing tool.

Furhter details
(Source: USAID)



Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:03:32 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 25, 2013
In celebration of information and communication technology (ICT) careers for women, Cisco is holding a prize draw on 25 April 2013 for girls living in Europe, Middle East, Africa and Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The draw is being held in partnership with the United Nations' International Telecommunication Union as part of their annual "Girls in ICT Day" campaign.
If you are a female Cisco Networking Academy student, a woman considering a Networking Academy course, or if you have been invited to a 2013 Cisco "Girls in ICT Day" and are over 15 years of age, you are eligible to enter the draw. Five lucky winners from different parts of the world will be randomly selected, lottery style, on the 25 April 2013. There will be one winner for each of the following regions: Western Europe; Eastern Europe; Russia and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS); Middle East; Africa.

If you are already an ICT student or are considering a career in this agile, innovative sector, this opportunity is for you. The draw aims attract attention to the diverse career avenues available in ICT and the role that the Internet, in particular, is having on the world around us.

If you are a prize winner, you will be awarded an iPad mini to help you surf the net, learn and network wherever you are. Cisco will also facilitate a mentoring session for you with senior Cisco managers and women in your country of origin and take you on a Cisco site visit. You'll have the chance to experience Cisco technology first hand in their offices and learn both about a career in Internet networking and about working life in a big multi-national company. This is your chance to pose your questions to experts and get some clarity on your study and career choices.

If you don't win they will still enjoy your company and hopefully you theirs at a local Cisco office. The "Girls in ICT Day" event is a brilliant opportunity for you to learn about the breadth and depth of opportunities for women in the dynamic ICT sector. And in particular, with Cisco, you will learn about the life-changing role of the Internet.
They also strongly encourage you to stay tuned to the United Nations International Telecommunication Union's "TechNeedsGirls" Facebook page. Join this vibrant group of girls who, like you, are attracted by the dynamism and potential of the tech sector. Follow the action and learn about ICT careers from working women all over the world.
 

(Source: Cisco Networking)

Monday, February 25, 2013 10:28:40 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
This day was established by resolution 70 of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), in order to celebrate the interests and opportunities that new technologies can offer to young women and encourage them to choose an education and a career in Information and Communication Technology Technology (ICT).

In 2012, this day was celebrated by about 90 countries member of the ITU, through events involving between 20 and 500 young people each, and a total of 30,000 young people. There were initiatives in schools, universities, organizations aimed at ICT conferences, interviews, among others (see  more)

Portugal also celebrated this day through two initiatives organized by the Portuguese Communications Foundation | Communications Museum: a school competition for primary and secondary education and a roundtable discussion that featured the testimony of women professionally connected with the ICT sector (see more)

This year, the Portuguese Communications Foundation | Museum of Communications, will again join this initiative through a program to be held at its premises (soon to be released). The celebration will be held, according to their agenda on Thursday, 25-April-2013, From 10:00 to 23:30.

(Source: Fundação Portuguesa das Comunicações)

Monday, February 25, 2013 10:15:18 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO is inviting editors-in-chief of newspapers, radio, television on and offline to join UNESCO’s initiative, and to produce special supplements/programme on these topics and/or to entrust women journalists and reporters with editorial responsibility for the newsroom for a limited period over the duration of the WMN initiative.
Available on the WMN website are downloadable banners and a logo that can be used to promote this initiative in your organization.

Launched annually on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March), Women Make the News is a global initiative aimed at fixing global attention on an issue relating to gender equality in and through the media, driving debate and encouraging action-oriented solutions until global objectives are met. It is to this end that UNESCO has developed resources such as the Gender-Sensitive Indicators for Media.

This year’s theme is related to the Global Forum on Media and Gender (GFMG) to be held in November 2013. It is their intention to draw attention to the need for a global means, including media partnerships, to follow-up on the gender and media objectives of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action. 

The theme of the United Nations observance of IWD 2013 is “A Promise is a Promise: Time for Action to End Violence Against Women”. This theme will be one of the main topics to be addressed during the Global Forum on Media and Gender. Another key topic will be integrating media in national gender policies and strategies.

Therefore, UNESCO and its partners are also inviting media organizations, professional associations, journalists’ unions, women and men working in the media and civil society to use 8 March to share your thoughts on what could be the possible form of the Global Alliance for Media and Gender, what should it do and priority themes that the GFMG should address.

Further details

Monday, February 25, 2013 9:35:34 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Monday, February 18, 2013
The event, which is billed to hold in Lagos on April 25, 2013, is a brainchild of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and was borne out of the need to encourage young girls to delve into the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) profession as a means of contributing their quota to the development of the industry in their local environment and internationally.

This year’s event, with the theme: “Tech Needs Girls to Invent the Future”, has further received the support of the Minister for Communication Technology, Mrs, Omobola Johnson, who noted that her ministry is ready to work in partnership with eBusiness Life to achieve the aims of the event.

In a mail to the organizer, Mrs Johnson said, “congratulations once again and be assured that the Ministry will support this initiative”. The minister had earlier highlighted on the need to encourage young girls to aspire to co-exist with their male counterparts in the field of ICT, noting that the profession also needs the feminine gender in development.

“It is a known fact that girls are more brilliant at very young ages and evidence abound from nursery and primary schools globally to verify this claim. However, as girls reach the ages of menarche, the pressures and pains of becoming a woman slow us down a little. Early marriages and childcare also contribute to the reduction in young women’s academic achievement. Girls must therefore be exposed to ICT education very early in life. So that the culture, orientation and requisite ICT skills would have been acquired”.

She further enjoined that in order to close the digital divide between the female and male gender in terms of education in, ownership of and access to ICTs, girls must pick interest in ICT and related careers as this will not only prepare them for employment, but will also improve their capacity to compete for jobs with fabulous rewards or ability to start their own businesses and be employers from the word go.

As part of this year’s week-long event, activities will include a one-day seminar, facility tours, essay competition, open quiz sessions, mentorship forum, and awards to deserving female ICT professionals, who have made their marks in the industry.

International Girls’ Day is an initiative launched through ITU Resolution 70 with the idea of creating a global environment that will empower and encourage girls and young women to consider careers in the field of information and communication technologies.

The Union declared the fourth Thursday of April every year as a day of encouragement to girls and young women to consider careers in ICT and society is reminded to support them in their choice.
Pilot projects and campaigns have been launched in a number of countries for more than 20 years, with the aim to change girls’ and young women’s behaviour patterns with regard to their choice of career and to expand their spectrum of career options.

(Source: The Guardian Newspaper Nigeria)

Monday, February 18, 2013 4:55:20 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, February 08, 2013
As part of the ITU's Girls in ICT project & Tech Needs Girls campaign, Women in Technology in Nigeria, WITIN brings Technovation Challenge to Nigeria. The Mobile App Challenge was opened on Monday for secondary school girls (ages 13-18) who would work in teams of 5s to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a “pitch” for funding. Each team works with both a classroom teacher at their school and a female mentor/role model from the technology industry. WITIN will lead mentors in Nigeria who would guide teachers to train teams from now till April on how to build the apps. The training culminates in a global competition where teams compete for funding to launch their company and take their app to market.

The goal of the program is to promote women in technology by inspiring girls to see themselves not just as users of technology, but as inventors, designers, builders, and entrepreneurs in the technology industry.

The girls are taught life skills such as how to identify a problem, design and test a solution, collaborate with a team, and communicate to different audiences. It reinforces the following academic concepts: digital representation of information, algorithmic thinking and programming, and the societal impact of information and information technology.
Over this period girls will be trained 2 hours a week to develop a potential solution to a problem and program a mobile phone application to solve it. The app must solve a problem in their local community. This could be a health problem that affects their community, a social problem, or even a lack of a resource. They will learn how to study their competition, identify ways in which they can gather users and earn revenue. Each team will be guided by a teacher from their school and a female mentor from the high tech industry to support and act as a role model for her team.

The winning team will be celebrated in Nigeria on April 25th(Girls in ICT Day) and will travel to the Silicon Valley California to compete globally on May 1st, 2013. The overall winner will receive $ 10,000 in funding and support to complete their app development and release it on the market.

In the end, Girls learn about collaboration and teamwork, important skills in the technology industry.

To sign up- all you need is a team of 5 girls, a computer, an android phone, and a teacher or adult to support the team.
On February 2nd, Mrs Martha Omoekpen Alade, Chairperson of Women in Technology in Nigeria formally welcomed all teams in Lagos on the “hackday” to brainstorm on starting off.



(Source: WTIN)

Friday, February 08, 2013 10:45:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 24, 2013
"JUMP is a program that complements the innovative use of telecommunications through "Cell Phone Tips" which involves to send 105,000 text messages with advice and tips on business management to microentrepreneurs. The contribution of Telefónica will provide technical facilities for sending these messages to further enhance of beneficiaries entrepreneurship.

"We are pleased to invest in the education of women because it has a multiplier effect, which results in more productive, healthier families, better educated, and ultimately prosperous communities. For Telefonica, be part of this innovative project, which promotes the development, improve competitiveness and strengthens social inclusion, makes us proud", said Eduardo Devoto, Corporate Relations Manager of Telefonica.

This initiative, which provides training sessions on finance, marketing and sales, as well as personal skills, with a simple and dynamic, is also supported by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) , ACP, Thunderbird University (USA) and the Australian Government through AusAID.

"JUMP is a program that seeks to promote the development of women entrepreneurs through micro, small and medium enterprises. The program focuses on strengthening the business capacity of 100,000 entrepreneurs through a series of interventions. The IDB-MIF is focusing much on women as it has been seen that women entrepreneurs have a more rapid and sustainable impact on their family, and their community. By the way, they spend and invest, when a woman entrepreneur grows, it begins to promote the welfare of children and families by providing better education and health. This eventually results in development. Moreover, empirically, we have observed that a woman has a very important trained multiplier - woman enjoys teaching and sharing - and so, what you teach a woman tends to reach its surroundings", noted Fidel Jaramillo, IDB representative in Peru.

Furthermore, the training of the project has three additional elements: personal support financial analysis and identification of business opportunities granted by MBA students at the University Thunderbird, funding for project participants by Mibanco, and advice to women entrepreneurs through the cell.

Further details

Thursday, January 24, 2013 7:36:35 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, January 18, 2013
The role of ICTs as development enablers is more widely understood today as access to new technologies, particularly mobile phones, has grown exponentially. Mobile phone subscriptions exceeded six billion by the end of 2012, three-quarters of which were in the developing world.  However, women are at a disadvantage: they are 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than men, according to the latest Broadband Commission Report.

According to Magdy Martinez Soliman, UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy, development presents an opportunity to effectively address this and other gender gaps.  He speaks about sustainable human development, about the ability to make choices and lead a healthy, long and educated life with all that we value, said Let us bear in mind that ICTs are not neutral. Existing gender inequalities, pervasive in many countries, can be exacerbated by ICTs, when unequal access to education for example turns into digital ignorance. Not having female teachers and lack of local security are powerful triggers of girls’ dropout. Women will not be able to access ICT community centers if safety issues are not properly addressed.

We are determined advocates of democratic governance and for us women's access to ICTs is a governance issue. Public policies and the private sector need to address the root causes head-on.  Women who lag behind in ICT skills are less employable, face further disadvantage and will end at the lower echelons of the labour market.   
ICT solutions comprising the Internet and mobile technologies have great potential to bring vital improvements to the lives of the most vulnerable populations.  For example:

• health care delivery through remote consultations
• agricultural development through access to pricing information and extension services;
• education and learning through online resources
• banking services through mobile banking
• participation in decision-making processes  by enhancing access to public information

The UN task team on the post-2015 Development Agenda has issued a first report arguing that “Globalization offers great opportunities, but its benefits are at present very unevenly shared”. Part of the inequality is gender-related. Part of the response must be about women’s empowerment. And part of this empowerment can be fostered through ICTs.

(Source: UNDP)

Friday, January 18, 2013 2:17:10 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Thursday, January 17, 2013
The purpose of this GSIM tool is to facilitate gender equality and women empowerment in and through media of all forms, irrespective of the technology used. The tool addresses topics related to internal media policy and strategies, as well as to capacity building. It is versatile as with it media organizations can:
 
•    assess their gender sensitivity,
•    formulate necessary policies and strategies to address gaps detected,
•    set measureable goals, and
•    monitor progress towards desired goals.

The GSIM tool also informs training needs as it contains all the salient elements of gender and media.
The GSIM tool is a non-prescriptive set of indicators, designed for adaptation and use particularly by media of all forms. It is also relevant and useful to citizens’ media groups advocating for gender equality, media associations, journalists’ unions and clubs, media self-regulatory bodies, government entities, academic institutions and research centres such as journalism, communication, technology schools and universities.

It is divided into two interrelated, rather than discrete, categories, each addressing the main axes of gender and media:

•    Category A - Actions to foster gender equality within media organizations (divided into five subsections), and
•    Category B - Gender portrayal in media content (two subsections).

Each category is organized according to five dimensions, namely: User group; Critical area of concern; Strategic objective; Indicators; and Means of verification.
Annexed to the GSIM tool is a set of “self-assessment” case studies carried out by partner broadcasting associations/unions. They provide a snapshot of gender mainstreaming efforts within selected media houses representing all regions of the world.     

Further details

Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:28:13 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Report calls for doubling the number of women and girls in developing countries who are online to 1.2 billion in 3 years.

Intel Corporation released a groundbreaking report on "Women and the Web," unveiling concrete data on the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for women. To better understand the gender gap, Intel commissioned this study and consulted with the U.S. State Department's Office of Global Women's Issues, UN Women and World Pulse, a global network for women. The report issues a call to action to double the number of women and girls online in developing countries from 600 million today to 1.2 billion in 3 years.

 On average, across the developing world nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report. Further, the study found that one in five women in India and Egypt believes the Internet is not appropriate for them.
 "This study demonstrates the enormity of the global Internet gender gap and more importantly, identifies specific ways the public, private and civil society sectors can work together to dramatically increase Internet access for women and girls", said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "Intel has worked for decades to improve education around the world. If we can empower women and girls with the tools, resources and opportunities they need to succeed, we will transform their lives and the lives of everyone they touch".

 Seeing another 600 million women online would mean that 40 percent of women and girls in developing countries -- nearly double the share today -- would have access to the transformative power of the Internet. This goal, if realized, could potentially contribute an estimated US $13 billion to $18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.

 "With the powerful capabilities the Internet enables -- to connect, to learn, to engage, to increase productivity, and to find opportunities -- women's lack of access is giving rise to a second digital divide, one where women and girls risk being left further and further behind", said Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for Global Women's Issues at the U.S. Department of State."My hope is that this report will catalyze action to close the Internet gender gap. This will require knowledge, leadership, determination and collaboration among governments, public institutions, corporations, and civil society to tackle the wide range of gender-specific barriers to Internet access".

The full report can be viewed at http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/technology-in-education/women-in-the-web.html.

(Source: Intel)

Further details

Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:01:53 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
How can mobile technologies advance literacy for all, especially in countries that are “book-poor but mobile-rich”? How can they support teachers’ professional development to improve education quality? And how can they further gender equality in education and increase opportunities for women and girls?

These specific Educations for All-related questions will be addressed during the Second Mobile Learning Week (MLW) which will take place in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 18 to 22 February 2013.  

At the end of 2012 there were an estimated six billion mobile phone subscriptions in the world. The unprecedented uptake of mobile phones in particular, in both developed and developing countries open up new possibilities for increasing education access, equity and quality. Mobile learning, a growing field of ICT in education, has the potential to significantly impact the delivery of education.  

MLW 2013 is the UN flagship mobile learning event and will be attended by an international audience of ICT in education specialists, practitioners, policy makers and representatives from relevant NGOs and corporations.  

As with UNESCO’s successful first MLW from 12-16 December 2011, the 2013 edition of MLW will share innovative ways of learning with, and through, mobile technologies, and how they can help achieve the Education for All goals and improve the quality of education.
A two-day symposium, from 18 to 19 February, forms the backbone of the event and features keynote speakers, demonstrations of mobile content and technology, and thematic breakout sessions.  

On 20 February, UNESCO, in partnership with the GSMA, will host an invitation-only meeting of high-level government officials to discuss issues relating to mobile learning and policy. 

A series of webinars will take place on 21 and 22 February. These online events will allow people all over the world to discuss topics related to mobile learning and will be moderated by leading thinkers in the field of ICT in education.  
 As the UN agency tasked with coordinating EFA, UNESCO is committed to investigating how information and communication technology—of which mobile devices are the most widespread—can help further progress towards Education for All.

(Source: UNESCO)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:44:01 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNESCO’s Gender Equality in Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) community is looking for groups and initiatives that promote women’s role and representation in FOSS. This will allow building a comprehensive repository of FOSS Groups and Initiatives by and for Women and Girls.

Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) is liberally licensed software that grants users the right to use, study, adapt and distribute its design through the availability of its source code. Such approach to the use and development of software encourages innovation and skills-building.

FOSS has dramatically changed the way software is produced, distributed, supported and used. However, most of the problems pertaining to gender inequalities in the software industry have been duplicated in the FOSS field. According to UNESCO’s Report on Gender Equality and Free and Open Source Software, globally less than 20 per cent of ICT developers and FOSS users are women. Furthermore, women’s entry level wages are only 17 per cent of men’s wages. Figures are especially worrying in FOSS. Only 2 per cent of professionals working in FOSS are women, compared to 28 per cent in proprietary software.

For this reason, UNESCO calls on FOSS communities to build a comprehensive list of FOSS Groups and Initiatives for Women and Girls. UNESCO encourages women’s and girls’ active participation in all aspects of the development and use of FOSS at all levels: cultural, economic, political and technical.

The objectives of the repository are the following:

•    to raise awareness about the gender gaps in FOSS;
•    to give more visibility to women-led FOSS groups and activities, including their important role as models and mentors for women and girls interested in FOSS;
•    to highlight women’s representation and achievements in FOSS, and dedicated activities;
•    to provide a platform where different FOSS groups can create collaborative efforts, exchange information through relevant NGOs, associations, business, academia and   the public sectors, and promote initiatives contributing to women's participation and advancement in FOSS.

Contributions can be send by e-mail to: foss@unesco.org or join the UNESCO FOSS community by providing the following information:
•    for groups: name of the group, national or regional scope, a brief introduction and the link;
•    for initiatives/activities: title and a brief introduction including goals, status and achievements.

Further details

Thursday, January 17, 2013 8:34:48 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and leading network operator Millicom International Cellular S.A., launched an innovative project to bring mobile financial services to women entrepreneurs throughout Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana. Over a period of 18 months, this Global Development Alliance will provide over 4,000 women with business skills training and valuable opportunities to increase their income through mobile retail channels.

In launching this new Global Development Alliance, USAID Chief Innovation Officer, Maura O’Neill, remarked: “Our opportunity to economically empower women through powerful, wide-reaching mobile technologies is more realizable now than ever before. But our ability to succeed requires coordinated and collective action. As such, we value our partnership with the private sector and influential foundations, such as Millicom and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women. The components of this partnership are ground-breaking, and we are excited to watch them unfold for the benefit of women and their families in Tanzania, Rwanda and Ghana”.

Cherie Blair noted, “Women entrepreneurs stand to gain a great deal from selling mobile money products. With the right business training and working capital available, women entrepreneurs can benefit from being part of a mobile operator's value chain. Setting up mobile sales provides additional household income and the opportunity for these women to be financially independent”.

The women involved will have access to 12-month working capital loans for their mobile money businesses, distributed to the women entrepreneurs through Millicom’s mobile financial services platform. The initiative will deliver financial literacy and business development trainings for the women entrepreneurs, to support them in managing their loan repayments and their mobile money agent business.

Hans-Holger Albrecht, President and CEO for Millicom commented: “I am proud that we at Millicom can be part of financial inclusion in Africa. This public-private initiative with renowned partners such as the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women and USAID will foster women’s entrepreneurship to the benefit of all in the local communities. The initiative will deliver financial literacy and business development training for the women entrepreneurs to support them in managing their mobile money agent business.”

This partnership will present opportunities for women mobile money agents to become profitable while at the same time attracting and retaining new customers. By increasing the number of female agents, this project aims to lower the barriers that women face in accessing financial service and to promote the innovative adoption of mobile technology amongst these women. It also aims to design a successful model for mobile operators around the world to replicate, in order to expand mobile money operations and financial inclusion for the unbanked.

(Source: USAID)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 5:05:43 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 

ICRW conducted an assessment of the Intel Learn program, an education initiative that provides technology education to youth around the world, in order to understand its impact on female learners. ICRW found that Intel Learn has been able to reach large numbers of girls and women and enhance their technology skills, critical thinking, and self-confidence, improving their effectiveness as students, community members, and businesswomen.

The program equips learners with skills in digital literacy, collaboration, creativity, and critical problem solving. Intel Learn increases students’ access to technology and also teaches them how to use the technology through hands-on projects to address real-life problems. The program has been implemented in sixteen countries and has reached more than 1.75 million youth. It does not focus on any particular population of students, but rather has a goal of reaching all groups equally poor and rich, males and females, urban and rural, and ethnic minority and majority groups. Approximately half of Intel Learn’s program participants are female.

Growing evidence demonstrates that educating girls enhances the health, productivity, and development of communities and nations. ICRW’s assessment found that the strategies and components of the Intel Learn program have successfully targeted girls’ needs and interests, provided girls and women with necessary skills and resources, empowered them to have control over their resources and make decisions, and set them on a path for economic empowerment. Thus, the program offers important lessons on how to enrich the lives of girls and women through technology education.

Access to the report: The Intel Learn Program Through a Gender Lens

(Source: ICRW)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:58:12 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The beauty of modern technology is that it has vastly speeded up communication and the transmission of information, helping businesses to become more efficient and productive. But this acceleration poses a real challenge for many small business owners who can get left behind if they aren't "up to speed". It's worse for those entrepreneurs living in rural areas in countries with limited access to the kind of information technology we take for granted, like a computer or a phone landline. But for the women entrepreneurs in these same areas those difficulties are multiplied by cultural traditions that often prevent them from being included in local business networks and markets.

This is the reality for women business owners living in rural Gujarat in India, where a group of them have come together and work for a large cooperative, 'RUDI' , to sell agricultural produce from local farmers. The women, known as 'Rudibens*' act as sales agents for the RUDI distribution network, selling food and goods in their own villages. Demand is often very high for the produce but it also fluctuates from season to season. And in order to fill their local orders for the produce, Rudibens have to travel long distances to bigger towns with RUDI centres, wasting time and money. By the time too that these orders are processed and delivered to the rural villages, the level of demand has often changed and they will have lost money they might otherwise have made. For the many women and families that rely on RUDI sales for their livelihood, the inefficiency of the system is a real problem.

Manjula, for example, started a business selling RUDI products after her husband died, leaving her with three children to support but no income. But because she has to travel to process the orders she receives and finds it a struggle to get childcare, she makes less money. And often the orders that she makes are not delivered until weeks later, by which time demand has changed leaving Manjula with produce she can't dispose of and less income.

To address these difficulties that stunt business growth for women like Manjula and other Rudibens, Cherie Blair Foundation has partnered with the Vodafone Foundation in India and the Self-Employed Women's Association (SEWA), which oversees the RUDI network, to develop a mobile application tailored to their needs. The women already have basic mobile phones but the special app will allow them to engage in real-time communication with the RUDI management, check supply levels and text orders instantaneously. As a result, the burden of time and travel costs for will be reduced and processing efficiency will dramatically increase. This translates directly to higher income and more time for the women to invest as they choose, such as developing their businesses and caring for their families.

(Source: Huffington Post)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 11:24:40 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
WTSA-12 affirms commitment to an inclusive Information Society

ITU’s membership has adopted a Resolution inviting ITU Member States to refrain from taking any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites and using resources, within the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution and the WSIS principles.

Meeting at the World Telecommunication Standardization Assembly (WTSA-12) in Dubai, ITU members revised and adopted a Resolution first agreed at 2008’s WTSA in Johannesburg: Resolution 69, Non-discriminatory access and use of Internet resources.

Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General, ITU: “Just days away from the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-12), the adoption of this Resolution underlines ITU’s commitment to a free and inclusive information society. This should send a strong message to the international community about accusations that ITU’s membership wishes to restrict the freedom of speech. Clearly the opposite is true. It is in this spirit – fostering an Internet whose benefits are open to all – that I would like to head into WCIT-12”.

Noting the global and open nature of the Internet as a driving force in accelerating progress towards development in its various forms and that discrimination regarding access to the Internet could greatly affect developing countries; Resolution 69 invites affected ITU Member States to report to ITU, Director of the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau (TSB) on any unilateral and/or discriminatory actions that could impede another Member State from accessing public Internet sites and using resources, within the spirit of Article 1 of the Constitution and the WSIS principles.

ITU’s work, along with many others, has played a key role in enabling the Internet. Without ITU standards providing the access technologies to homes and businesses and the transport mechanisms to carry information from one side of the world to another the broadband services that we have come to rely on would simply not work.

(Source: ITU Newsroom)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:45:26 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
UNICEF Philippines, in cooperation with Globe Telecommunications, embarked on an initiative which aims to leverage the use of Information and Communication Technologies to achieve better health outcomes among women and children in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas in the country’s provinces and municipalities.

The initiative is dubbed as rCHITS which stands for ‘Real-time Monitoring of Key Maternal and Child Health Indicators through the use of the Community Health Information Tracking System’. It is a computerization project aimed at achieving a more effective and efficient system of managing health information on children and women living in disadvantaged areas. Globe Telecom donated Php one million (USD 24,000) as support to UNICEF’s programme.

According to Tomoo Hozumi, Country Representative of UNICEF Philippines, the donated money will go towards expanding the rCHITS program to reach more provinces in the coming year.

“Through this program, we are able to gather and consolidate real-time data on mother and child health indicators and help the local government make informed and well-planned decisions on health issues in their provinces”, said Hozumi.

He added that the project was originally conceived as a tool in support of community based injury prevention, but evolved to what is known today as rCHITS through the collaborative efforts of the University of the Philippines National Telehealth Center, UNICEF and Globe.

The multi-stakeholder cooperation moved towards developing a system specifically designed to monitor and obtain key maternal and child health indicators in selected municipalities towards the achievement of Millennium Development Goals four and five, which is reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health.

(Source: FutureGov)

Thursday, January 17, 2013 10:08:11 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
The program provides a 3G-enabled tablet powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor and free Internet connectivity from Maxis Berhad, the local 3G operator, with which is possible to access information and resources, connect with the dedicated mentor who provides invaluable advice on growing the business of women, and engage with a global community of like-minded business professionals.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report notes a strong correlation between gender equality and a country’s prosperity and economic competitiveness. This is where the Women in Business Mentoring Program comes in. The program is a collaboration between Qualcomm’s Wireless Reach initiative, the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, the Foundation for Women’s Education and Vocational Training and Maxis Berhad with the goal of enhancing women’s skills and knowledge in business and information and communication technology, empowering them to obtain a better quality of life.

To date, 80 percent of participating entrepreneurs have reported a positive impact on their businesses and 90 percent have reported improved confidence and increased knowledge of technology.

Qualcomm’s passion has always been to expand the possibilities of mobile technology. By designing programs to accelerate women’s ownership of mobile phones and provide life-changing services for women in the developing world, Wireless Reach is working to help stimulate the economic ecosystem and close the mobile phone gender gap.

After Erin Radzi gave birth to her daughter, she had difficulty going back to work and decided to start a business from home. She thought she might supplement her family’s income by baking cakes and cookies, but she couldn’t afford a course on how to decorate wedding cakes. So she taught herself how to do it through online videos. Erin also sought additional training from the Foundation for Women’s Education and Vocational Training, and is now participating in the Women in Business Mentoring Program.

For more information on Wireless Reach, visit their website.

(Source: Qualcomm)


Thursday, January 17, 2013 9:55:50 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 23, 2012
Library’s maternal health SMS service reaches over 90 women

Northern Regional Library’s Technology for Maternal Health Project has got off to a flying start: 94 pregnant women are now receiving vital health information sent directly to their mobile phones; the library’s health corner has been formally launched, and 10 health workers have been trained to use computers to conduct research.

Northern Regional Library in Tamale is working in partnership with the local development agency Savana Signatures to implement the maternal health service. Savana Signatures provides technical support for the SMS service, helped install the library Health Corner and provides information and communication technology (ICT) training for health workers.

The library’s new Health Corner has five computers where health workers and members of the public have free access to the internet. The library reports that health workers especially are using the computers to seek information for lectures and presentations they conduct at antenatal clinics in Tamale and rural areas.

Each computer has been installed with content provided by international agencies, including Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA); Medical Aid Films, and the Ghana health service. All content for the Heath Corner and the SMS service is carefully checked by a committee of local health workers to insure that it is accurate and locally relevant.

In addition to providing free access to computers, the library’s Health Corner is a training centre where Savana Signatures provides essential ICT training for health workers, to improve their research and communication skills. Ten health workers have received training, and another ten are to be trained in October.

The library Health Corner was officially commissioned by the Deputy Northern Regional Minister and the Northern Regional Health Director of the Ghana Health Service. It is attracting intense interest, and other health service providers, for example, the Tamale Teaching Hospital, are approaching the library with requests for information in different formats – film, audio and text – and for their maternal health education programmes.

(Source: EIFL – Ghana)


Friday, November 23, 2012 11:46:48 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
Two Secondary Schools to Benefit from 90 Girls' Scholarships, 50 Netbook Computers, and Internet Connectivity

Connect To Learn has been launched in Léona, Senegal with the announcement of 90 multi-year secondary school scholarships for 90 girls and the installation of 50 netbook computers supported by broadband connectivity for two secondary schools in the Millennium Villages Project (MVP) site in Léona. The launch at the Collège d’Enseignement Moyen was attended by MVP staff, students, teachers, parents, administrative authorities, education officials, and representatives of Ericsson and Tigo, two of the organizations supporting the effort.

Connect To Learn implements mobile broadband technology to connect classrooms to a 21st century education by enabling access to vital teaching and learning resources. The computers and connectivity contributed by the program’s technology partners will also allow teachers to improve their skills and knowledge and therefore the quality of secondary education in the schools where they work.

Through funds raised by Connect To Learn from individual and corporate donors, the program has also announced that they will offer multi-year scholarships this year for 90 young women to enroll in these schools. Girls eligible are MVP residents who have achieved academic excellence and whose families are unable to sustainably fund their education at the secondary level.

Connect To Learn is a partnership between the Earth Institute at Columbia University, Ericsson and Millennium Promise. As part of its contributions as chief technology partner for the initiative Ericsson has donated the 50 mobile broadband enabled computers and two video projectors. Tigo, the cell phone service provider that has joined the initiative in Senegal, is providing free Internet service that allows the netbooks to connect to the Internet through Tigo’s mobile phone network.

(Source: Connect To Learn)


Friday, November 23, 2012 11:41:27 AM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Friday, November 16, 2012
Women farmers experience a lack of access to resources globally—in the form of production inputs, labor, credit, training, and information. Their enormous contributions to food production, subsistence farming, and the agricultural labor force in the developing world means that ensuring gender mainstreaming in information and communication technology (ICT) is a priority for global food security. It is also central to a global development agenda based on human rights and effective and sustainable development outcomes.

This briefing paper addresses these and related approaches in ICT services for agriculture that support sustainable practices and promote gender equality.

Download the full paper here

(Source: USAID)


Friday, November 16, 2012 1:23:22 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
In a bid to help expose Ghanaian female students to the world of technology and new opportunities, the government of Ghana has established an Information and Communication Technology (ICT) club for Tamale Girls Senior High School.

This novelty club is expected to be replicated across the length and breadth of the country, according to the Ghana's Ministry of Education.
Member of the Female ICT Teachers Association of the Ghana Education Service, Barikisu Seidu added that the "club is to stimulate the interest of the students in ICT learning and application to improve the number of females participating in ICT, which has become the source of opportunities".

Seidu said women were the bedrock of the society arguing that women would always be in a better position to impart the ICT knowledge onto their children as opposed to men.

"The ICT could enhance girls' chances of acquiring jobs as well as exploring other vital opportunities", Seidu said.

The director of Savana Signatures, Stephen Agbenyo urged the students to make good use of the opportunities offered by the club.

He noted that the new club would teach the female students about website development, blogging, internet researching, and other use of ICT tools for teaching and learning.

(Source: Biz Community)

Friday, November 16, 2012 1:18:57 PM (W. Europe Standard Time, UTC+01:00)  #     | 
 Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Blue-Ribbon Group of Media Leaders Concludes a Year of Deliberations
With Release of Report and Review of Best Practices

The Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls, consisting of more than 50 leaders from the media industry, creative community, academia, and youth-serving nonprofits, completed more than a year of deliberations today by releasing a report offering a variety of recommendations and best practices to encourage more healthy and realistic portrayals of women and girls across all media.

The Commission Co-Chairs – Academy Award-winning actor Geena Davis, founder of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media; and former Federal Communications Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate, International Telecommunications Union Special Envoy and Laureate for Child Online Protection – announced the release of the group’s report during the Third Symposium on Gender in Media of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media.

Recognizing the need for gender balance and positive portrayals of women and girls in the media, Girl Scouts of the USA (GSUSA), along with the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, and The Creative Coalition hosted the Healthy Media for Youth Summit in the U.S. Capitol in October 2010. At that time, a broad cross-section of stakeholders gathered to chart a course to promote healthy media for the benefit of all young people and recommended that a Healthy Media Commission be formed to develop recommendations supporting a more positive and gender-neutral media environment for women, promoting the healthy development of a girl’s social, emotional and physical well-being.

The objective of the report, according to its Executive Summary, is “to develop recommendations supporting a more positive and gender-neutral media environment for women, promoting the healthy development of a girl’s social, emotional and physical well-being”. The report includes a section on “Healthy Elements of Media”, designed to encourage more healthy body images, active and diverse female characters, equal and healthy relationships, and roles for women and girls.

In addition, the report offers wide-ranging recommendations to a variety of key groups, helping media leaders, creators, and consumers “learn” more about healthy media, “choose” to promote healthy media images, and “educate” peers and colleagues about the healthy media issue and its ramifications for the health of girls and women. “Collectively we must lead efforts to raise awareness of, and facilitate greater education outreach around, healthy media, and work towards re-shaping our media landscape, so that it better promotes balanced and positive images of girls, and values their identities and aspirations”, the report says.

The Report and Recommendations of the Healthy MEdia Commission for Positive Images of Women and Girls is available online at www.GirlScouts.org/HealthyMedia.