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Women and Girls Accessing and Exploring Internet Opportunities for Empowerment

Nowadays , Internet is one the solutions to acquire more knowledge and information in various domain ; Political , Social and Economic . Internet provides different Women and Girls opportunities for growth , learning (scholarships , training and mentorship ) , leadership and business management .

But What can be done to support Internet accessibility and skills to Girls and Women empowered and competitiveness? Recently , I have been doing some basic research in Rwanda and over the Web and below are some proposed strategies and programs that would encourage use of Technology especially Internet that would contribute to personal development and Youth / Women economic empowerment .

- Internet and related Technologies need to be introduced to Girls at young age . Even though it still difficult in developing countries to access Internet at Secondary , College or University Institutions , free short term Internet / Technology camps or campaigns can be organized to provide them with unhindered access to computers in order to develop skills and creativity in using Technology and Internet as well as to inspire them as the next generation of women technology entrepreneurs. This can also be the opportunity for them to network with IT Women entrepreneurs to inspire or mentor them on different projects .

- Engage institutions , organizations , individuals and other community development actors to advocate for Internet Technologies accessibility or provide training related sessions to promote young men and women sustainable livelihoods to facilitate the creation of startups Internet Businesses hence promote economic empowerment .

- Promote use of Internet Technology for Youth and Women’s economic empowerment by providing Enterprises , Entrepreneurs and Organizations the capacity to design, deliver and implement Internet Based programs , knowledge and skills.

- Establish Women in Business and Leadership mentorship program for them to use Internet and Computer Technologies for successful and innovative leaderships and businesses;

- Mentor Women's and Girl’s on Internet technology and related businesses; Address barriers and challenges they face in using Internet while operating.

Let work together for Women and Girls accessing Internet to fight against poverty and vulnerability .

Nadine

This story was written for World Pulse’s Women Weave the Web Digital Action Campaign. Learn more »

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Comments

Helwa's picture

Awesome

Great post and intervention Nadine. The key challenge though are the tools and information readily available to them especially for those in the rural setting? More focus should be put in place on how can they access such services to

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks Ayshah ! Nice to meet

Thanks Ayshah ! Nice to meet you here.

kellyannaustin's picture

Nadine, I love your ideas

Nadine,

I love your ideas about Internet and Technology camps. These could be mobile and on-going? How might that look in your community? Thank you for sharing your ideas and keep up the good work!

Best wishes,

Kelly

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks Kelly , For the

Thanks Kelly ,

For the mobility part its still difficult to reach many of them in rural areas . But in Rwanda , we have well equipped districts telecentres ( Computers + Internet ) available for communities . Its up to us to engage local leadership , organizations , Individuals or IT persons interested in promoting use of computers and Internet among girls and women towards empowerment . Communities are also eager to learn all those technologies and explore worldwide information , projects and opportunities .

kellyannaustin's picture

Thank you for educating me. I

Thank you for educating me. I look forward to seeing how you will help things change through small steps and big leaps. What a wonderful and well-informed vision you're weaving!

Kelly

valjune42's picture

What a Business Proposal!

Hi Nadine,

So many people talk and talk about how technology is helping connect people, what it can do once people have a way to talk to each other, and on and on... What I love about what you have shared, is the absolute solidarity in your plan. You have thought through some of the most important aspects of the WHY and WHAT to do. Now, we can take these proposed plans and start working towards the HOW. What players in the community, both micro and macro levels, can help make these plans real? What organizations should be contacted/created in order to help make this function? How do we recruit people from local areas and abroad to stand with us in creating grassroot efforts to make these things happen? You don't have to answer these questions for me, I am just helping the brainstorming for the next steps!

Thank you for being passionate about young women and technology. Thank you for believing in the empowerment of others, each others, and communities around the world.

Valorie

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks for the feedback

Thanks for the feedback Valorie , wow , that's make great questions . Here are some answers :

For short term free camps in holidays , local leadership in partnership with schools can mobilize girls , private companies , institutions , ICT teachers , women IT or other persons who are interested in encouraging young girls become active citizens trough built ICT skills , self-esteem and confidence . After completion , girls can be encouraged supported by their ICT teachers upon return to their schools to start computer or ICT clubs to explore more ICT technology while sharing acquired knowledge and skills with their fellow students .

To Promote use of ICT for girls and women's economic empowerment through Technology based Education programs or projects. Some activities to be conducted may be to :

A . Provide capacity building to enterprises , organizations and Institutions strategies and concepts that promote girls and women technology accessibility for economic empowerment to enable and strengthen their leadership and capacities to contribute to innovation and change in their organizations and communities.

B. Build partnerships that include ministries , organizations or private companies that area of intervention are youth , girls or women empowerment through ICT for program support.

Nadine

Nancy Janus's picture

Your post

Hello, Nadine.

What is most exciting about your post is your commitment to the development of women and girls by using digital technology. This is indeed one of the keys to empowerment. But you have gone beyond cheerleading. You are offering concrete suggestions as to how girls and women might be exposed to the Internet, and then mentored in their use of it.
Your suggestions are useful and powerful. I hope that your community will hear what you say and will go to work to make them a reality.

Congratulations on a very useful post.

Best regards,

Nancy Janus

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks Nancy!

Thanks Nancy!

Elizabeth Kipp-Giusti's picture

Excellent Post

Thank you for that wonderful post, Nadine!

As other commenters before me have noted, your post is particularly excellent because you have come up with some valuable and pragmatic suggestions about how to achieve internet and technology literacy amongst women and girls. I love the idea of supporting mentorship programs, as I see women as the key to generating a larger cultural shift.

All the best,
Elizabeth

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Your Welcome Elizabeth ,

Your Welcome Elizabeth ,

These mentorship programs will encourage them to become economically active and more engaged global citizens

Nadine

Mary S's picture

Hi Nadine You have so many

Hi Nadine

You have so many great ideas!

Have you heard of the Maman Shujaas IT centre for women in Bukavu, DRC? They provide access to the internet, training on how to use computers, teach women to tell their stories etc. It was founded by Neema Namadamu http://worldpulse.com/user/11809
I wonder if you can learn from each other?

Mary

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Hello Mary , I don't know

Hello Mary , I don't know them but I look forward to know them better . Thanks

mlf's picture

Appreciation for your work

Hello Nadine,

I appreciate the opportunity to hear about your work and your exciting ideas. Thank you for what you do.

I have recently had some contact with an organization headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina USA where I live. It is called the Africa Healing Exchange (AHE) and they are partnering with some organizations in Rwanda to develop programs for trauma recovery and prevention. Several members of the AHE are planning a trip to your country in May to launch a pilot program on resilience and recovery. I don't know if there could be networking possibilities here (as far as I know there is not a digital access component of their program) but I'm passing on their website in case you want to check them out: www.africahealingexchange.org.

Best,
Miriam

Thanks Miriam , It would be a pleasure to meet them and know more about their projects and activities .

Bien écrit Nadine, vraiment à nos jours l’internet est une des solutions à acquérir plus de connaissances et d’information dans divers domains, mais beaucoup des femmes et fille n’ont pas l’accès pour pourvoir. Fière de toi et de tous vos efforts pour améliore la capacité des femmes à être en mesure d’utiliser la technologie pour faire progresser, juste un mot félicitation et courage

sylvie

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Merci Sylvie . Tout le

Merci Sylvie . Tout le plaisir est pour moi. Nos meres et soeurs on besoin de nous pour leur propre development.

kind3500's picture

Great work

Great ideas! I completely agree that internet is such a fantastic tool that can help lift women out of poverty and open new doors for them in the future. I have found my own employment online, and as a student, this income is extremely helpful. I know however, it can do wonders for women living in poverty. Although at times it may be expensive and difficult to transport, computer and internet systems would definitely enhance the lives of women. It seems that a great deal of feedback has been given, and after reviewing it, my questions have been answered. Thanks so much for sharing!

Kindersley

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks Kindersley

Thanks Kindersley

KASINDI BULAMBO's picture

Quelles meilleures propositions!

Je suis de votre avis ma sœur. l'internet offre aux femmes et aux filles des possibilités de croissance, l'apprentissage, le leadeurship et la gestion d'entreprise.
A mon exemple, depuis que je me suis connectée à l'internet, j'ai eu la chance d'être sélectionner parmi les auditeurs et à partir de de cette sélection, je fais régulièrement les commentaires des journaux sur programme.
Je sais qu'il est temps de briser la fracture. la réponse à cette question de savoir ce qu'on peut faire pour favoriser l'accessibilité à l'internet et les compétences aux filles et aux femmes le pouvoir et la compétitivité, il serait mieux de permettre à toutes les filles d'avoir l'accès à l'internet en disponibilisant d'abord les machines (Ordinateurs) dans leurs maisons et après, la connexion.
Aussi, organiser des formations sur cette matière car beaucoup d'entre elles ne savent pas encore l'importance,
Enfin, répondre aux différents projets sur la technologie afin de lutter contre la vulnérabilité.

Kiss!

kasindi

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Merci Kasindi . Internet

Merci Kasindi . Internet transforme bien des vies.

MariaAle's picture

Dear Nadine, Thank you for

Dear Nadine,
Thank you for sharing your amazing ideas and suggestion and actions plans about how to girls can reach technology in your community even in the rural areas. I can imagine how hard might to get results, but I can feel your leadership and dedication to make it happen, very inspiring!!!!! You are very powerful and it is contagious in a very positive way!
Congratulations on you amazing dedication!
Sincerely,
MariaAle

Maria Alejandra Alcaraz

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks Maria

Thanks Maria

Julia O'Byrne's picture

Great post!

Hi Nadine!
Your post is terrific! As other commentators have said above, I love how you offer pragmatic and smart ideas/solutions for how girls and women can get online more and become more at ease with computers. You have a really clear vision which I love. I particularly loved your idea of starting early. Nowadays in Canada and the US, babies/toddlers can play with IPhones and computers. Finding their ways around these gadgets seem easy for them and I think it's because they started so young. While it is possible to learn the internet later in life, I totally agree that starting young is probably better. I also really like your suggestion about getting enterprises and organizations involved. You make a really good point that if they get involved and start training women, then everyone benefits. Being able to meet potential mentors in these organizations is great too.

Thank you for a great post!

All my best wishes,
Julia

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks Julia . I also liked

Thanks Julia . I also liked your experience in the US with young children

HeidiSB's picture

Working Examples?

Thank you for this post, Nadine. I, like the others, was inspired by your ideas and your energy. I'm wondering if there are any organizations successfully addressing these issues in Rwanda now? I'd be interested in learning more about them.

It's good to see the posts on what is going on in the DRC and the organization soon coming to Rwanda. I hope these connections help something real come of it. Please let us know how we can continue to support you.

Best wishes,
Heidi

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks Heidi . The

Thanks Heidi . The organization , I am currently working is empowering young people and women through applied information technology to create income generating activities. We are also collaborating with other organizations interested in that field .

You can find more info on : http://rwanda.dotrust.org/

Nadine

HeidiSB's picture

Thank you!

Thank you for the link. What important work!

Julie.Desai's picture

Great solutions

Hi Nadine,

I think you have suggested a great solutions and it will be very useful to the readers of world pulse to replicate this in their own countries.

Also, more organizations will be inspired by your post to take this up for educating girls & women. I congratulate you on your work & efforts.

Julie

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Thanks Julie !

Thanks Julie for the appreciation !

Erena Bayessa's picture

,Inspirational!post

Thank you for this Great post, me and the NLK Team are always most Honorable AWDF and You . This Gojjam from NLK in Ethiopia I hope you forget me not.I am most privelaged to meet with you again

NLK was established by 5 HIV positive women in 2005. NLK’s mission is to intervene in endeavors to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and its impacts through realizing the social, economic and health rights of women living with HIV/AIDS, other affected women’s group and their families; and envision achieving HIV/AIDS free society and the world where the tragic is controlled;

Among others, NLK women are working to improve the predicament faced the target deprived women living with HIV/AIDS by establishing friendly internet center to enable the target women participation as an active online communication with international communities to express their cause and meet their needs through mobilizing resources that is stimulated by their own thinking and deliberation and which they can effectively influence.

Nevertheless, the Technology acquisition is costly. Moreover, lack of skill, unreliability and speed of the internet has been a barrier for the women. Therefore, pretaining resources and facilities are highly required to ensure smooth operation of the program and sustainability

bayessa

Nadine Umuhire's picture

Hello Bayessa. This is so

Hello Bayessa.

This is so unfortunate that they can't access the internet, yet it would help them learn from other people in the same situation , learn how to live positively , participate in forums and advocate for themselves . Strong advocacy is needed for them , As an example , they can ( or be helped ) negotiate few free hours to access the internet , have special training sessions etc.... In that case strong partnerships and advocacy is needed.

Good luck

IFUW's picture

Great Post!

Hi Nadine,

This is an awesome post! Everything you say is spot on! It is a necessity that girls and women everywhere become ICT literate. Schools need to be encouraging students especially girls to get involved in these subjects. One of the ways in which they can do that is to have more women teachers teaching ICT subjects in schools.

I really think that your idea of establishing Women in Business and Leadership mentorship program is really great. Many women entrepreneurs especially those in developing countries who have small businesses are unable to grow or expand their businesses because they lack ICT training. Giving these women this kind of training will not only be beneficial to them but also to their country!

http://www.ifuw.org/
https://worldpulse.com/og/subscribe/86069

I am really enjoying reading the stories submitted for the WWW Campaign. You have outlined very clearly what needs to be done in order to increase access to the Internet for women and it gives us all something to think about. I am sure that your ideas could be replicated across other countries in Africa and around the world. I definitely agree with the introduction of these technologies early because it is often so much easier to learn them at a young age.

I wish you the best in your work!

Amy
@amyinstl

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