The World Wide Web Foundation, with support from German Development Cooperation, is pleased to announce the ten grantees of a newly established grassroots fund aimed at supporting digital skills initiatives and their successful activities targeting women and girls across Africa, Asia and Latin America.
One of the key goals of the EQUALS Digital Skills Fund is to facilitate appropriate digital skills training for up to 10,000 women and girls which includes the use of technology for social change and entrepreneurship. In addition, the initiative supports female role models and internet users within communities, social movements and workplaces to lead the next generation of women and girls in technology.
The ten sub-grantees are working with women and girls in communities across Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America to develop, iterate and maintain avenues for their acquiring of varied digital skills, and we are excited to support them in scaling their initiatives, be it by reaching new communities, or even reskilling previous participants in their program. Over the course of 2019, the Web Foundation will work with the partners to develop policy recommendations informed by their ‘bottom-up’, context-specific approaches to building digital skills. This will enrich our work on Women’s Rights Online, and more specifically, on strengthening policy recommendations under the REACT framework.
Since the German G20 presidency in 2017, German Development Cooperation has aimed to overcome the gender digital divide and to promote the participation of women and girls in the digital economy with its #eSkills4Girls initiative. #eSkills4Girls is just the first step to make the digital inclusion of women and girls a matter. We need joint, long-term efforts driven by stakeholders from government, private sector, civil society and academia. To this end, German Development Cooperation leads the EQUALS digital skills coalition and supports important initiatives to make digital skills training available to girls and women throughout life.
Meet the grantees!
The EQUALS Digital Skills Fund is delighted to support 10 grantees from across the globe:
Ghana Code Club, Ghana, will roll out a community coding program called “Code on Wheels”. Trainers will travel to communities across the country and host coding workshops for women and girls aged 12 to 24, as well as train volunteers and educators to establish Girls Code Clubs. The project will offer fun, beginner-friendly, hands-on workshops that teach girls computational thinking and technical skills in a social and collaborative way.
She Codes for Change, Tanzania, will use their “Her Digital” initiative to build the digital capacity of young women and girls, mentor women seeking technology careers, accelerate women-led technology business, and advocate for gender-responsive policies aiming at closing the digital gender gap. The Fund will support Her Digital to empower young women entrepreneurs age 18-35 with digital and analytical skills, and to support women to leverage digital platforms and grow their businesses.
The Centre for Information Technology and Development (CITAD) in Nigeria will be supported to expand its Digital Livelihood Programme for Young Women. Through the programme, CITAD will host ICT and digital skills training workshops for women aged 18-30 that cover online safety, key technology skills for women to empower themselves personally and professionally, as well as internet governance.
So, How Do You Tech? of the Uwani Foundation, Nigeria will host technology skills programmes, providing safe spaces for women and girls to learn about and understand technology and its empowering potential including access to information, effective digital communications and problem solving using digital tools. The programme includes girls in secondary school, school teachers and girls who have dropped out of secondary school.
Laboratoria Coding AC, Mexico, will champion closing the gender gap in the technology sector in Latin America. The Fund will support Laboratoria to provide job-oriented digital skills education to women from vulnerable backgrounds. Focused on job placement, Laboratoria will reach more than 1,000 applicants in its bootcamp program, and work with the technology sector to increase diversity in its recruitment and workforce.
GEM Institute’s SWIFT Codes, Lesotho, will build the capacity of Girls Coding Clubs in schools, provide support to teachers and strengthen relationships between Girls Coding Clubs, schools and social entrepreneurship cooperative groups. SWIFT Codes will also develop a database to network and connect women in film, fashion, farming and technology; and create a film of the Girl Tech Talk Conference in August 2019.
Girlhype Coders, South Africa will drive a job creation initiative to promote the employability of females under the age of 35 through digital literacy and coding skills. The program is aimed directly at bridging the gender digital divide to empower young women to realise the benefits of access to the internet and other information and communications technologies. Girlhypeworks with corporate partners to ensure students gain workplace experience once they complete the training program.
The Lebanese League for Women in Business, Lebanon, will host a one-day Girls Got IT event. With over 20 hands-on workshops with professionals, Girls Got IT creates the opportunity for girls between the ages of 13 and 17 years to learn directly from successful startups and entrepreneurs. The topics covered include 3D printing, mobile development, web development, software application, robotics, hands-on engineering, introduction to graphic design, introduction to architecture, social media, mobile app development and other contemporary topics in engineering and technology.
Perkumpulan IDEA, Indonesia will use the funds to support its Digital Literacy for Women to Advocate for Better Allocation of Village Funds project. The initiative aims to strengthen the knowledge and skills of women and women’s groups in accessing data from government and online portals to demand better budget allocation for gender equity. Targeting women’s agricultural groups, health groups, women engaged in small and medium enterprises, women in the informal sector, and youth organisations, the program encourages public awareness to monitor budget implementation and increase women participation in gender planning and budgeting. The project will train women about budget transparency and gender-inclusive development while raising awareness about the importance of digital literacy for better resource allocation for gender equity.
The Code to Change, Pakistan, will work to minimise the digital skills gap and bridge the digital gender divide in the technology sector. Through boot camps, mentoring, events and meetups, the initiative encourages women to build their own technology products, become entrepreneurs and sustain their livelihoods in the technology sector. The initiative provides a safe space for collaboration, support and communication for women working in the digital sector.
Congratulations to the grantees!
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