Did you know that 60% of work in the world is done by women? Yes! We are that amazing. And to think that we are referred to as the weaker sex! Did you also know that there are 43% fewer women online than men in the South Saharan region? Take a minute and think about your life. Your tech life to be precise, and answer the following questions honestly. Who do you go to for help when your phone won’t work? Or when your laptop has one issue or the other and you need someone to sort it out? Or simply, when you want to buy a new gadget and you need advice on the best tech stuff there is, currently in the market?
I know for a fact, that the answers to these questions include a ‘Pato wa Simu’ and a ‘Kevin Laptop’, or a husband or male friend that usually has all the solutions you need. But is it that there are no women with this kind of expertise? Women who are tech-smart who can provide solutions to fellow women?
Intel held a round table discussion at iHub on 30th of September, to talk about the Intel She Will Connect program, which is an initiative to reduce the gender and technology gap for young women in emerging markets beginning in Sub Saharan Africa where the gap is greatest. The session, chaired by radio personality Adelle Onyango, saw women talk about their experience with technology, and how to get more women connected to the internet and be involved in technology.
Intel, together with other partners has set out to get more women connected to the internet, which comes with benefits like increased self- confidence in the women. It will support more job and income opportunity, better access to healthcare and financial services, and better access to financial information and government services.
Speaking at the event, Suraj Shah, the Africa Programs Manager, said that the with the help of the partners, the program would bring about digital literacy, by introducing a mobile app with simple instructions to follow so as to learn more about the internet, with the aid of self-help learning tools.
The program has already been brought out to a number of places, like Embakasi Girls High School, where it has had massive impact. There are also training camps set up in different areas of the country, where teaching and training is given to women about the internet.
In attendance were some influential women bloggers, like Patricia Kihoro, Miss Mandi, Shinde (formerly of Tatuu), Abigail Arunga, Crystal Kiarie among others.
Being connected, in Adelle’s words, is not enough. It is pointless to be on the internet if you are not making a positive difference with it. Take it to a fellow woman that needs it. Help reduce that gap that makes us rush to men for help on technological matters. Remember there are 65 million girls in the world, that are not going to school. What does it take to help them and any other woman get connected? It’s simple. You and I.