The first graduates of the ‘Intel She Will Connect’ programme have just been sent out to practice what they have learnt. The programme trained 400 women at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in Nairobi, which targeted women drawn from The League of Kenyan Women Voters, and was done in collaboration with the Ministry of Devolution and Planning.
The League of Kenyan Women voters is a non-partisan member organization that aims at providing a forum through which women can take part in national decision making processes and in leadership. It also acts as a medium where women can freely exchange views and ideas with the aim of encouraging their participation in leadership irrespective of their background and political orientation.
The Intel She Will Connect program was launched in Africa in 2014. In Kenya, the programme aims to train 2,000 young women in digital literacy skills by the end of the year through Pasha Centres in a number of counties. It is already live at 35 Pasha Centres in 27 counties.
Dr. Mark Matunga, Corporate Affairs Group Manager Intel East Africa said: “Despite women doing 60 percent of the world’s work and producing 50 percent of the world’s food, they only make 10 percent of the world’s income and own 1 percent of the world’s assets. Additionally, women reinvest 90 percent of their income to their communities. At Intel, we believe empowering Kenyan women through improved technology access will in turn spur economic growth for Kenya as a whole. We are aiming to provide skills and resources needed to empower women to get and stay online safely. ”
For the She Will Connect programme in Kenya, Intel is collaborating with the Kenya ICT Authority, The Rockefeller Foundation, USAID, Safari Connect and The Youth Banner – a Pasha Business Development Consultant for the ICT Authority. At the end of the training, the women and the girls will have a chance to start their own businesses or be employed.
Anne Waiguru, Cabinet Secretary for Devolution and Planning said,” Through the Gender Mainstreaming Pillar in Vision 2030, the government aims to ensure the needs and interest of each gender, including women, men, girls and boys are addressed in all government policies, plans and programmes. As you may be aware, Kenya’s budget preparation process now includes the use of Internet for contribution. The government is also in the process of rolling out the eCitizen programme, which brings government services to the reach of each citizen.”
The Intel She Will Connect programme has a goal of reaching 5 million women and reducing the gender gap by 50 percent in the sub-Saharan region. The programme comes against the backdrop of the Women and the Web report released by Intel last year revealing the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for women.