Intel has launched an online learning platform –Intel She Will Connect – My Digital Journey–aimed at providing an opportunity for women to learn, connect and share online.
My Digital Journey is a web-based application with gaming mechanics where women are empowered to learn individually or in a facilitated environment, and with the support of a peer network. My Digital Journey uses case scenarios relevant to women in the form of challenges, which gives them the opportunity to practice solutions before moving on to the next level.
The platform is a new addition to the Intel She Will Connect program, which aims to bridge the technology-gender gap, to teach young women how to leverage the internet and technology to pursue their goals.
Intel She Will Connect was introduced as a direct response to findings of the Women and the Web Report, which examined women’s access to and use of the Internet in low and middle income countries. The Report found that, on average, there are nearly 25 per cent fewer women than men are online in developing countries. This represents 200 million fewer women than men online today. In Sub-Saharan Africa, the size of the gap is 43 per cent – the largest across all the regions in the study.
Launching the program in Nairobi, Intel Corporation’s Vice President, Director of Corporate Affairs, and President Intel Foundation Ms. Rosalind Hudnell said: “My Digital Journey provides an opportunity for women and girls in Kenya, Nigeria & South Africa to learn about the internet and benefit from the wealth of information available that will contribute towards achieving their goals and provide access to opportunities.”
Learners on My Digital Journey will receive a digital completion certificate after successfully completing three quests. Each quest comprises 3-6 missions. The first mission may take a learner 15-45 minutes depending on reading speed and the thought put into responding to challenges.
“This learning platform provides women and girls with a unique opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and access additional resources that support learning in a safe environment. Gaining access to the Internet enables women and girls to improve their self-esteem and expression, expand their social and political participation, gain new skills that enable them to obtain formal education, become entrepreneurs, or secure employment, and in addition get access to information and new connections within their communities and beyond,” explained Ms. Hudnell.
Intel believes that educating girls and closing the Internet gender gap has an important multiplier effect—expanding opportunities for families, communities, and nations.
“Through the Intel Global Girls and Women Initiative, we are working to empower millions of girls and women around the world by closing the gender gap in access to education, inspiring more girls and women to become creators of technology and connecting them to opportunity,” noted Ms. Hudnell.
Speaking also at the launch event, UN Women Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Simone ellis Oluoch-Olunya, noted that Unlocking gender equality will unlock the growth potential of the continent.
“Grounded in the vision of equality, UN Women believes that technology can be a game-changer for women and girls. Enhancing women’s economic empowerment is one of the five priority areas of UN Women’s work, therefore this initiative is one of many UN Women is undertaking to advance women’s economic empowerment and support women, particularly from a technology perspective,’’ added Ms. Oluoch-Olunya.
The Intel She Will Connect program aims to reduce the Internet gender gap around the world, through an innovative combination of digital literacy training, an online peer network, and gender-relevant content.
The program has been rolled out in sub-Saharan Africa, where the gap is the greatest, with initial pilots in Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.