Technology education is giving girls in India a fighting chance

by | Oct 18, 2017

In many parts of the world, girls and women continue to experience low status in their communities. They often have few opportunities to take on leadership roles, or pursue education, making it difficult for women to enter cutting edge and lucrative labor pools or industries. An example of this is the booming technology industry in India, of which many girls and women have been excluded or unable to enter.

Our newest partner, Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT), is a non-profit organization that works to empower women and girls by investing in their leadership and skill development, while opening opportunities for them to work in the technology sector. FAT works to increase girls’ and women’s opportunities in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. They use this strategy because “access to technology can not only provide equal growth for girls and women, but also act as a facilitator to increase the agency of women over their lives.”

The Council on Foreign Relations explains that women in the technology sector drive growth for nations that are booming economically. Increasing employment opportunities for women also enhances gender equality, which is fundamental to protecting human rights and dignity. Empowering women leads to benefits for their children and communities because women often invest money back into their households and villages. Repairing the gender gap in ICT jobs can also help with the mismatch between supply and demand for jobs in emerging countries.

In the context of India, FAT has seen first-hand the disparities between men and women, which can manifest itself into violence and discrimination against women and girls by their families, leaders, and social norms, which reduces their education, career, and life opportunities. Without these opportunities, many girls remain in the cycle of poverty and marginalization.

FAT works to target these negative and discriminatory messages through their Young Women’s Leadership Program for marginalized young girls in slum communities of Delhi. Through this leadership program, girls learn basic computer skills, internet skills, and feminist issues to build their agency and leadership capacity. Girls can progress through the program, learning more advanced technical skills, using these skills to launch campaigns within their communities on an issue impacting girls rights, such as early and forced marriage. They can also take on mentorship and leadership roles to improve their programming skills and encourage younger girls.

Investing in the education and job development of girls and women is something that One Day’s Wages is passionate about because we believe that investing in women is an investment in entire communities. We’ve previously partnered with organizations in Afghanistan, Kenya, and Thailand to enable girls to go to school and attain the skills they need to eventually get jobs that provide for their families.

As the technology sector continues to take hold in India and other economically developing countries, improving opportunities for the most marginalized to participate will increase the ability of individuals and communities to break free from the constraints of poverty. Our new partner FAT is a recognized leader in the non-profit sector in India and is using an innovative approach to girls empowerment by investing in the development of tech skills and leadership opportunities for marginalized girls.

You can support our partnerships with organizations like Feminist Approach to Technology here.

Serena Kaveney is an ODW blog contributor. 

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