Tech Girls: Leadership Skills, Gender Equality
A total of 20 female young leaders were trained by the Tech Age Girls program which is trying to fill a gender gap in IT and leadership skills.
The program is about promoting women’s leadership skills in community with the help of technology. It was launched by Beyond Access Myanmar, with the partnership of Myanmar Book Aid and Preservation Foundation and US-based iNGO, IREX.
The program is based on community libraries where local women are recruited and provide trainings. The project manger Daw Ah Win said, libraries are potential space for women to learn and develop their new skills.
PROJECT MANAGER, TECH AGE GIRL MYANMAR (MBAPF), DAW AH WIN: To lead the community, women must have both leadership and digital skills for sure. As the country is moving forward, women will play essential role for the national development.
The IREX has been conducting such program around the world since 2005, however it becomes the very first time in Myanmar.
PROGRAM COORDINATOR, TECH AGE GIRL MYANMAR (IREX), AMBER EHRKE: “So the IREX actually conducted research study on development issues. And what we found is that in general, young women in particular rural areas are affected behind in technology access specifically in digital skills. For using phones, one thing that we heard from everyone is that women and men have same opportunity, the same potential. We thought it was really impressive. We’ve talked to several girls and they are eager to achieve full potential, we hope the program like Tech Age Girls can help their dreams come true.”
The program is designed for young women for the age group from 16 to 20.The selected participants have to learn both leadership and technology skills such as project planning, team work, group building, creating blog, during 9-months period, since May this year.
One of the participants, Thin Myat Noe presented her own program for experience sharing. It is about establishing online shopping for selling handmade products, creating job opportunities for jobless women.
Progress of the program is also be monitored and evaluated by the Beyond Access Myanmar.
PARTICIPANT, THIN MYAT NOE: I get to know how social media can be used for business during the project. Since the main aim of the project to lead the communities, I’ll carry out my best in future with the knowledge and experience I have gained.
The Tech Age Girls Program covered only 5 regions including Yangon, Bago, Mandalay, Sagaing, and Magwe. However it is targeted to expand to the remaining states like Kachin and Chin as the next step.