Intel announces a new social good initiative that aims to master younger women in developing countries some basic digital literacy skills. The “She Will Connect” program will also help minimize the gender gap in this area of knowledge.
The first region where the initiative launches is Africa—there the gender gap is the greatest. Through the program, Intel aims to reach 5 million women across the continent and reduce the gender gap by as much as 50%. The announcement comes ahead of the UN second International Day of the Girl on October 11.
The “She Will Connect” program will combine two major elements—an online gaming platform and a peer network,—which will make it easier to deliver the knowledge package to the female students. The online gaming hub will supply them with smartphones and tablets, while the peer network, that is now being developed by Intel and World Pulse, will be a virtual space where girls and women will share insights and skills as well as find support, mentorship and relevant content tailored for women.
For a deeper integration, Intel will partner with several global and local NGOs as well as governments of the countries. The project will be using the teaching expertise gained through Intel’s Easy Steps digital literacy training program. So far, Intel has not unveiled any dates and plans on the program, but it has shared that in addition to Africa the program will expand to India to reach million women within the next year. It will also launch in Columbia, Mexico and Peru, where the brand will focus on digital literacy training with a special focus on fostering entrepreneurial skills.
The initiative is inspired by the findings from the “Women and the Web” profound study that shows how big the digital literacy gender gap is in developing countries. The highlights from the reports include: the global gender gap across 144 developing countries is 23% (the largest, 43%, is in Sub-Saharan Africa); 31% female respondents said they had used the Internet to generate additional income; 79% of women said they had used the Internet to improve their education or studies, and more.
The “She Will Connect” initiative is just a part of Intel’s global strategy to increase the women’s penetration in the digital and online world. For this, the company has launched its Easy Steps program mentioned above. The new project signals of the brand’s intention of “not only providing digital literacy skills to girls and women, but also by pushing the concept of digital literacy forward through new, innovative and scalable models,” says the company. In March 2013, Intel launched the “Girl Rising” documentary film about the power of education to change a girl’s life.