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International Girls in ICT Day 2015 events

National YWCA of Myanmar in collaboration with MIDO

Yangon, Myanmar, 2015, April 23

Girls in ICT Day 2015 was organized by National YWCA of Myanmar in collaboration with MIDO (Myanmar ICT for Development Organization) on 23rd April 2015 at YWCA building from 9:00 am to 4:00 p.m.
There were approximately 150 participants with 95% Adolescent girls and young women.
The morning session started with Inspirational talk / panel discussions with the topic: “Women Empowerment through ICT”.
1) Cindy Chaw Khin Khin (CEO, Myanmar Computer Co Ltd)
2) Sandy Sein Thein (Founder, Geek Girls)
3) Monica Myat Hnin Phyu ( Senior Manager, Digital Services-Ooredoo-Myanmar)
4) Patricia Curran (SVP, Head of Business Sustainability , Corporate Affairs Group (Telenor, Myanmar)
5) Carolynn Loo Nee (Celebrity- young woman singer / to talk young woman and effective use of social media)
6) Zin Mar Oo ( General Secretary, National YWCA) to talk about women and access to online/offline education)
Panel speakers first talked about their life story –how use of ICT has changed their lives, how they become familiar with ICT and effective use of ICT for their career development.
Representative from Ooredoo talked about the M-Women mobile application they have developed for PSI on safe motherhood and how women rural women have been using their mobile app.
Representative from Telenor talked about how mobile connectivity has transformed women’s lives giving some case studies of urban and rural women who use mobile phones—SMS voice messages; phone apps, Non formal education program for women and men.
Representative from MCC, is an entrepreneur herself as well as CEO of family owned computer company. She talked about women’s participation in online shops with changing situation in the country. Women are the inventors and creators however, why women are “invisible” in many cases—as such women need to know their potentials and be able to come forward to strive for their rights. As women entrepreneurs she sees potentials in women and that women should change from within – seeing ICT as women’s field, --the subject/field that women needs to learn / become expert to access job/ business opportunities.
Geek girls talked about challenges they encounter as women ICT practioners --where they have to compete with men in the technology field. Women need a space of their own to exercise the freedom of creating IT softwares/ programs etc.
Zin Mar talked about education opportunities through ICT – since Myanmar is in transition, and ICT field has become flexible, young people today have access to ICT and there they should take the opportunity to access education opportunities. Zin Mar explained to the young women / participants about some online education programs available in Myanmar and how to access them. Change must come from within and women / young women should expand their horizons with changing attitudes.
The afternoon session was organized with series of hands-on ICT trainings for young women and girls such as :
1) Social media / facebook safety-“ Me and My Shadow on the internet”
2) Mobile apps and how to use them
3) Mobile market, google play; mobogenie
4) Movie App (Mingalar Cinema, Mogo –movie etc)
5) Bus mobile apps (Yangon Bus)
6) Mobile app ( period tracker, pregnancy tracker –May May)
7) Edu app
8) Photo app for making documentary films and so on.
It was observed that young women and girls were excited to participate in this event and they are encourage to pursue ICT as an area/subject to help with their education , economic and career development. Young women were excited to have met with women leaders who have to passion to advocate for women empowerment through ICT. Adolescent girls from YWCA safe space were excited to participate in the event after the event they were motivated to learn ICT for their education and career purposes.
A number of media/ TV channels such as sky-net, MRTV, MRITV, Democratic Voice of Burma (DVB) and journalists were present to feature the event organized by the National YWCA. In Myanmar, YWCA is the first women’s organization who organized this event with success.
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