About the Campaign
Bridging the Digital Literacy Gap for Women
Today’s world runs on information and communications technology (ICT). ICT has given people the reach and power to achieve new levels of personal growth and the means to shape events, aspirations, relationships, and their futures in ways before unimaginable.
For women specially, ICT has proven to be life-changing. It has broken traditions and social prejudices, expanded their roles in society and home, given many a new economic and social freedom that has redefined them as persons of stature and value in their communities. One need only look at ICT-empowered women such as the members of the eHomemakers grassroot community and the Mothers for Mothers network in Malaysia, successfully pursuing tele-exchange and teletrading careers from home, to see the life-altering power of technology. Seeing mothers, disadvantaged women, and even singles actively participating in the knowledge (k) economy shows what can be for many other women.
But too many women remain disconnected from the global technological revolution, especially so in developing countries where 60% of them end up as unpaid family workers, UN statistics show. They are trapped in traditional family roles, without basic digital literacy that could help them grow and achieve more of their potential.
Basic digital literacy here means more than the mere operation of a computer and communicating via email or social networking. It implies being able to use ICT to improve present lives in ways shaped by the realities of environments and needs. For women agricultural workers, it may mean producing more and selling at better prices with helpful market information. For home-based women, it may mean becoming a homepreneur, finding livelihood opportunities that increase productivity and family income. For those on the balance beam between family and career, it will mean being able to work from home and fulfill the multiple roles of homemaker and co-provider.
For millions of women, digital literacy is the lifeline to a new future – a lifeline which a new global campaign seeks to cast in all corners of the world. This is the Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign of global telecentre leader, telecentre.org.
The Telecentre Woman comes from or is linked to the grassroots. This campaign views her in two perspectives:
- She is the telecentre manager or knowledge worker who ensures telecentre services, encourages wider use of the telecentre in the community, and adopts resource maintenance and generation approaches to bring in local and external resources for telecentre sustainability.
- She is the community woman, with or without formal education or even functional literacy, who is a telecentre user or a potential user. Though without extensive knowledge of computer operation or ICT, she uses or has the potential to use a telecentre to better perform her roles or expand the boundaries of her life.
|Global Target:||Disadvantaged community women, telecentre women|
|Movers:||telecentre women achievers, private and public sector partners, international agencies and local stakeholders, the global network of telecentres and knowledge workers|
|End Results:||Empowered community women with information access, entrepreneurship and employable digital skills, opportunities for higher schooling, and membership in a helping global digital community|
The Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign is a global initiative to help empower the big mass of disadvantaged and underserved community women with knowledge of information and communications technology for personal growth and expanded opportunities for better lives.
At the helm of the campaign is telecentre.org, a global program that supports the establishment and sustainability of grassroots level telecentres towards a vision of opening up “digital opportunities for poverty alleviation at the grassroots”. Powered by over 300 organizations, 100,000 grassroots telecentres and over 200,000 individuals with direct stakes in the telecentre movement, telecentre.org originated and drives the Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign which will
- bring together a corps of accomplished women from the academic-corporate ICT sector to serve as mentors, tutors, and ambassadors teaching and inspiring telecentre women towards achieving digital literacy and making it work for them.
- motivate the global population of community women to embrace the telecentre movement as workers, associates and potential grassroot users, and acquiring digital literacy in the process.
- recognize the achievements and the swelling ranks of thousands of grassroots telecentre women for the tremendous positive impact they have generated on the lives of other women thru a global search for the Outstanding Telecentre Women Managers.
- stimulate and bring together support and participation of telecentres and networks for the campaign from all over the world, reinforcing them with resource mobilization for fund generation as well as content and curriculum packages for digital and eBusiness skills for community women.
- enlist private and public sector partners, international agencies and local stakeholders demonstrate the role of telecentres in empowering communities in line with the UN standards set by the Millennium Development Goals.
Summarizing, the campaign has these components:
- Recognition of telecentre women-achievers
- Wide-scale digital literacy training for grassroots women
- Operating telecentre classrooms with custom digital literacy curricula based on country needs
- Enlistment of partners and supporters as champions for the cause
The Telecentre Women: Digital Literacy Campaign empowers one of the sectors most vulnerable to poverty and its consequences — women. The bringing of disadvantaged women into the mainstream of the digital revolution empowers them with access, information, choices, opportunities, and options they never had before.
The digital literacy gained makes the community woman a person of new and greater value to her family and community whether in Africa, Asia, South or Central America, employable, able to contribute more, and a potential asset to any enterprise. It makes a significant thrust for the global crusade against poverty.