Last week, a press release landed on my desk that both intrigued and pleased me. It was about the launch of My Digital Journey, a web-based platform that forms part of Intel’s She Will Connect programme.
She Will Connect really excites me, as it focuses entirely on empowering women and girls through technology… read this over at Tech Girl if you need a reminder as a starting point on why it’s so important.
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. It’s very much a girl power programme, but integrating gamification into the programme makes it really exciting.
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% fewer women than men 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% – the largest across all the regions in the study. That’s a scary statistic, but it’s not insurmountable. There’s a lot of work to be done in enabling access to technology, and programmes like these make it all the more easier.
Launching the programme 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, South Africa and Nigeria 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 between three and six missions. The first mission may take a learner 15 to 45 minutes to complete, depending on reading speed and the thought put into responding to challenges.
Intel believes that educating girls and closing the Internet gender gap has an important multiplier effect – expanding opportunities for families, communities and nations. The Intel® She Will Connect programme 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 programme has been rolled out in sub-Saharan Africa, where the gap is the greatest, with initial pilots in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.