Eliminating barriers for female learners in technology
Deliberate interventions by actors fostering gender equality across different sectors, time and time again continue to improve gender parity and create a lasting impact in the lives of beneficiary girls and women. There is indeed a rise in resultant outcomes for women in education, income, STEM and so on. Yet, despite constant upward progress, there is still a long way to go. Women still continue to face challenges in their homes, schools, places of work and communities that require iterative and intentional hands-on action to eradicate. Today, on International Women’s Day 2022, NairoBits is proud to be an actor fostering this crucial agenda that will drive us to futuristic societal and economic sustainability. We are celebrating all the
strides we have achieved to date and penning our commitment to wholesome gender equality and promotion of equal opportunities for all.
Our proudest achievement this year in the gender space lies in our Innovation & Technology programs that aim to unlock careers in tech through digital skills training and professional integration with the labor market. Since our inception and in our programming experience for over 20 years, we have only experienced equally divided classes through affirmative action. This year, the girls showed unrelenting sacrifice and made the spots on their own! Our work over the years making spaces comfortable and eliminating barriers for female learners in technology is finally paying off! We achieved a 54% – 46% application rate in favor of girls attributed to the measures put in place to ensure girls can compete favorably with their male counterparts. Some of the actions we took to break the biases against girls included community action, leveraging alumni stories, shorter impact programs, providing safe spaced for learning and so on to pique interest in technology for girls and showcase what is possible with hard work and determination.
In our classrooms, girls continue to impress with their resolution to give the best they can. Just last year, Anna Odhiambo who has been in the NairoBits system since 2019 impressed our examination board and achieved the salutatorian status in her graduating class at the end of the year. Anna was also one of the few students to complete participation in an international data visualization project, Cross Cultural Data Literacy, having focussed on a mental health project with a bias for anxiety. At her graduation, Anna was also awarded as ‘Bits Developer of the year’, a prestigious award for outstanding performance in her web development class and projects.
In our Acumen programming, we remain conscious that despite progress in economic fronts, women continue to suffer when it comes to their social interactions, health and so on. We are also alive to the fact that women are often discriminated against on the basis of their sex and that we have an obligation to address the particular needs of marginalised groups of women such ; adolescents, women living with HIV AIDS, women living in poverty, women from the LGBTQ community and those living with disabilities. We continue to work in our communities through programs such as Youth in Action and Right Here Right Now to promote respect , protection & fulfilment of the human rights of women, which includes the full realization of their sexual reproductive health and rights.
As we commemorate International women’s day, NairoBits celebrates its creativity, resilience, solidarity and leadership to promote the strength of women to ensure a meaningful place at the table and in the streets for all women in all their diversity. In this regard, we are excited to announce new partnerships that will vitalize our commitment to achieving gender equality in various spaces:
- SWIFT Impact Partnership – The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication is supporting NairoBits through an impact partnership and corporate donations that will support increasing employability for young people and strengthening institutional capacity for the organization.
- Girls Go: Powering a Future for Girls through Digital Inclusion – This is an ambitious project that intend to reach 1000 young women with market-ready technology, employability and acumen skills to advance their capability to gain decent work and income through the digital economy; empower them to control their own time, lives and bodies and promote their participation in economic decision making. The project is currently being supported by SENSE Foundation Brussels.
- British Council’s Skills for Inclusive Participation – NairoBits Trust is proud to have been selected by the British Council as its training lead and one of its implementing partners in Kenya for the Skills for Inclusive Digital Participation Project. The project aims to build the capacity of digitally excluded individuals* to help them develop the digital competencies they need to take part in digital life and online activities safely.
* Digitally excluded individuals include young people from lower socio-economic backgrounds, women and Persons Living with Disabilities – PLWD