Intel Corporation says it has launched “She Will Connect”, an online learning platform to bridge the digital divide among women in Nigeria, one of the selected African countries.
The technology company says that the programme has been rolled out in sub-Saharan Africa, where the technology-gender gap is the greatest, with initial pilots in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa.
According to the US tech company, “She Will Connect” is aimed at providing an opportunity for women to learn, connect and share online, and will be demonstrated through a new gaming course called “My Digital Journey.”
According to Ms. Rosalind Hudnell, Intel Corporation’s Vice President, Director of Corporate Affairs, “She Will Connect” is a programme that targets young women to teach them how to leverage the Internet and technology to pursue their goals.
Ms. Rosalind Hudnell who also doubles as the President Intel Foundation reckons that Educating girls and closing the Internet gender gap has an important multiplier effect to expanding opportunities for families, communities and nations.
“This was introduced as a result of web based findings that there are more male users with access to the internet than female, and the deficit is wider in Sub-Saharan countries”, Intel says.
According to her, statistics from “Women and the Web”, a publication by Intel and its partners reveals that nearly 25 percent fewer women are online than men in developing countries in the study, and the gap was 43 percent in sub-Saharan Africa.
Intel expects that through “She will connect” programme and other digital empowerment initiatives, “we are empowering millions of women to connect to a range of new opportunities through technology.’’
Intel says that “My Digital Journey” is a web-based application with a gaming structure where women are empowered to learn individually or in a facilitated environment and with the support of a peer network.
It uses situations that the women can relate with in the form of challenges and gives them the opportunity to practice finding solutions to those problems before advancing to another level.
“My Digital Journey provides an opportunity for women and girls in Nigeria, Kenya & 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’’.
Simone Ellis, United Nations Deputy Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, notes that unlocking gender equality will unlock the growth potential of the continent.
“Grounded in the vision of equality, UN’s representative 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.”
Intel says that 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, according to Intel.