Women and girls continue to be systemically underserved as a result of limited access to technology tools and the skills required to use them. It’s estimated that 25% fewer women than men are online in developing countries—and this gap nearly doubles to 45% in sub-Saharan Africa.1
If you’ve read or heard about the ICT gender gap, you’re also likely aware of at least one of the initiatives underway to close it. The Women and the Web Alliance is a public-private partnership that intends to address the technology gender divide by bringing more than 600,000 Kenyan and Nigerian young women online in the next two years.
Announced during the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in 2014, the alliance is comprised of Intel, Internews, NetHope, USAID, World Pulse, World Vision, UN Women, and Women in Technology in Nigeria — all united by the motivation to bring more women online. Partners hope to engage women in using the Internet as a tool for social and economic empowerment through four core activities: digital literacy training, development of relevant content, economic empowerment and online social networks.
As of August, over 15,000 women have graduated from digital literacy trainings, with current trainings underway. These women are being encouraged to capitalize on opportunities within the ICT realm and contribute to the advancement of gender equality.
Over the next 6-12 months, the alliance will continue to populate its website with content and launch an online training platform targeted to reach 600,000. Alliance representatives will also present at the Game Changers Summit and NetHope Global Summit as part of larger gender and technology presentations around the importance of investing in the next generation of women leaders.
The alliance is looking to expand and explore new partnerships; if your organization is interested in joining the alliance, or you are a program or facility with your own digital literacy training for women and are interested in partnering with the alliance, contact the alliance here.
In January, the alliance will host a webinar on how to become a member (details forthcoming).
For more information on Women and the Web, visit http://www.womenandtheweballiance.org/.