There is a wide consensus that information and communication technologies (ICT) are central to the emerging global knowledge based economy. It plays an important role in accelerating growth, that promoting sustainable development and addresses social challenges in communities. The “digital divide” that exist in local communities deprives women to participate in the digital economy.
As used here, the term “digital divide” refers to the gap between individuals, households, businesses and geographic areas, hence the socioeconomic levels with regard both to their opportunities to access ICT and to their use of the Internet for a wide variety of activities to bridge the gap.
The implementation of ICT in communities can provide diverse avenues for women’s social, political and economic empowerment. Their livelihoods can be improved through expanding access to local and international markets through using ICT. Women in ICT can further promote gender equality and advocate through partnerships. Furthermore, the knowledge base of ICT can create and stimulate entrepreneurship amongst women, providing access to the Digital Economy.
The Women in ICT project creates an opportunity for women to get access to acquire digital skills. These skills will provide a knowledge base to conduct their business online. Therefore, I-CAN Centre, managed by non-profit organization Genesis Community IT Initiative, located in Elsies River, has piloted a unique project for “Women in ICT” that will empower women with digital skills. Amongst other things, the digital skills will also play a pivotal role in eradicating poverty and socio economic challenges.
The women (beneficiaries) will be empowered in the following areas:
- Recruiting women for the Women in ICT project within Elsies River and surroundings communities
- Induction of the project “Women in ICT”
- Train basic computer skills
- Use Google Apps to manage emails
- Use Google Apps to create meeting requests
- Create a business card
- Create quotations & invoices online
- Social Media Training
- Intro to Image – Editing
- Intro to video – Editing
- Intro to Blogging
- Build an online shop
- Upload products as photos on the online shop
- Intro to Entrepreneurship
- How to sell your products uniquely
- Understanding the client’s need