On Monday Intel Corporation announced that it would be partnering with Joyful Women Organization (JOYWO) to train women on digital literacy. Over 1 million Kenyan women will be trained through the program. Already Intel has trained JOYWO trainers on the Intel® She Will Connect digital literacy curriculum. They have been equipped with brck technology devices to enable them to carry out face to face trainings for women and girls.
— Rayhab Gachango (@potentash) May 9, 2016
The program will help women be able to learn about using the internet safely, apply technology to their businesses, and be able engage online. The training will be rolled out in 47 counties with members of JOYWO benefiting directly from the program.
In Africa women are lagging behind in terms of access to technology. The Intel She will connect program aims to bridge the technology gender gap. It aims to reach 5 million women and girls by 2020. The program is currently running in Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa. The program has so far trained over 800,000 women.
JOYWO which is a non-governmental organization that was started by Her Excellency Mrs. Rachael Ruto to empower women both socially and economically communities. It started out under a tree with only 80 women and and now boasts around 180,000 members. It is now in 44 out of 47 counties. JOYWO was established in 2009. It runs various empowerment programs for women, among them table banking, livelihood activities, market access and capacity building. JOYWO works with women groups in rural and informal urbans to teach them lifestyles and empowers them with an aim of helping them achieve financial independence.
“We are excited to be collaborating with Intel Corporation as both organizations have a mutual interest of empowering women in Kenya. I believe empowering women will go a long way in unlocking the potential of our country to achieve sustainable economic growth. We are focused on providing an opportunity to women and girls to explore creative ways of making a living,” said Mrs. Ruto.
Intel Corporation’s General Manager for East Africa Mr. Danie Steyn speaking at the launch talked about how Kenya has more than 40% of Africa’s entrepreneurs. He shared Intel’s commitment to empower women to be able to leverage the use of internet and technology. He said that women had many barriers in running their entrepreneurship business and that technology would be able to help them overcome many of those barriers. The Intel® She Will Connect will provide women a platform to pursue their goals, give them opportunities to connect and share online and also teach them some skills.
“We believe that empowering women will give them an opportunity to positively impact their communities. … Collaborating with JOYWO will allow us a unique opportunity to tap into their extensive network, reach more women across Kenya and eventually augment our efforts to bridge the internet gender gap.” said Mr. Steyn. “We believe that closing the Internet gender gap will have an important multiplier effect to the African economy as it will expand opportunities for families, communities, and nations,” added Mr. Steyn.
Kenya’s Deputy President, H.E. William Ruto, who graced the launch, said “Supporting women to learn and use technology will go a long way in pushing our country to grow and improve the lives of our people.” He said he was happy to see that women were working together and that they were becoming economically empowered. He admitted that he had tried previously to bring women together but had failed. His wife with her idea for table banking was able to bring the women together and the organization had grown and was thriving.
The Deputy President said that the government wants to leverage on technology and is working proactively with the private sector to engrain the use Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
The Intel® She Will Connect program was started as a response to this Women and the Web Report. Some of the key findings are that on average there are 25% fewer women online then men in developing countries. In Sub Saharan Africa the size of the gap is 43% which was the largest gap across all the regions in the study.