They say, “Educate a woman, and she will edify an entire generation.”
Most of the readers will not refute the above statement, but even today, in the 21st century, women empowerment is a dream to a large number of rural population, sometimes semi-urban and urban too. The techy world that we live in today, has the internet above all, to help women around the world. Internet was also added to the list of basic human rights by the U.N., last year. Why must women be deprived of it?
The internet gender gap is strikingly huge. There is still 52% less women on the internet than men. Main reasons for this gap are, not having access to the internet because of the financial burden that adds on, lack of skills because of illiteracy, and cyber-harassments – It is not difficult to notice, that there are very less women on the social networking sites who do not fear putting up their opinions on topics that men find intriguing, like, government, politics, sports, sexual content, etc.
How will Internet access, help?
Internet is a platform where anyone can educate themselves, with no time restrictions or any other restriction for that matter. A platform where people can connect with people far off, and explore the plethora of opportunities the internet has, to offer. People can make money freelancing on the internet thereby helping with the financial burden there is, on their families. They can also have access to the healthcare education and to all the options that the government is seeking out to provide them with.
Who are helping solve the issues?
A number of organizations and governments in different parts/regions of the world, have come up with solutions to this problem. The following are few of such projects:
- The W2E2 project. (INDIA) – Wireless Women for Empowerment and Entrepreneurship is a program that provides digital tools with internet connectivity to train rural women in setting up their own social or independent enterprises.
This project aims at:
- Promoting internet based social enterprises and entrepreneurship among women.
- Gender inclusion in social environments.
- Boosting traditional skills among women in cluster based environment and helping them reach markets while ensuring sustainability.
- Hamara Internet. (PAKISTAN) – This project addresses the right of women to use the internet, free from harassment, surveillance, or any other digital threats. They aim at empowering women and girls by training them through digital security workshops, to thrive in the digital space.
- The Amakomaya Project (NEPAL) – This program provides women in the rural regions of Nepal with pregnancy related materials with information about pregnancy and pre-natal care to reduce the region’s high maternal mortality and neo-natal death rates.
- Afchix (AFRICA) – This program facilitates networking and sharing of opportunities with women in computer science and information technology, thereby encouraging them to take up careers in tech. It provides mentorship, training through workshops, targeting upcoming young women in the related fields of technology.
- Ayni Bolivia (BOLIVIA) – This program aims at providing the young women who are interested in fields of computer science, required training like, assembling computers, loading Linux and Windows Operating Systems on the computers, etc.
The above list is far from complete. There are a number of other organizations that are working towards empowering women digitally.
We, at Indians News, are doing our bit by creating awareness about the gender gap that prevails, the cyber harassment that women are enduring since the advent of the computer age and how these practices are being curbed, how women are being empowered by the internet.