Earlier this week I was at an event at Serena Hotel where Government, through Department of Gender Affairs PS Zeinab Hussein, communicated its commitment in improving access to technology for women. Access to technology remains the single biggest impediment in bridging the gender gap in Kenya and Sub Saharan African as a whole. A tech savvy woman is a connected woman and therefore an empowered woman.
The event was organized by Intel Corporation in line with the digital literacy program dubbed ‘Intel She Will Connect’. The program aims to improve digital skills among women, with an end result of enabling them to connect to Governments, education and ultimately entrepreneurship opportunities.
The idea is to introduce girls to technology at an early age so they grow up confident and eventually enabled to increase their earning power and this is being done through Intel’s e-learning program.
Other key stakeholders at the forum includes; UN Women/USAID, OXFAM founder company of the Wezesha Jamii program which has managed to empower and mobilized 26,000 women- 10,000 domestic workers in Kenya and the Global Peace Foundation that runs Leadership and Entrepreneurship Program (LEAP Hubs) in Secondary schools.
Having moulded a career based purely on the internet, I can attest to the immense benefits of women empowerment in tech. For someone who spends their life online, hearing that only 1 in 9 women in African are connected to the internet came as a shocker. This is surely a sad statistic and I’m humbled and grateful to be part of that small demographic. I knew we’re not as connected as the Western world but I never realized that the stats are that dire. It is for this reason that I appreciate Intel’s efforts in improving digital literacy in women, with an end game to empower them and to open up the world for them to improve their careers, businesses, access community support and raise their self-confidence.