Meet Kijoi, A Young Woman Bridging the Gender Digital Divide in Tanzania
Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) is a youth-led movement of daring social innovators who have the tools, knowledge, and networks to create opportunities and transform their own communities.
An EQUALS partner in the Access Coalition, DOT work with youth, the private sector, governments, and community-based organizations in 25 countries towards a collaborative vision of communities around the world shaped by social innovators.
As a Digital Champion with DOT, Kijoli Mjombo mentors young women and girls who have an interest in technology.
Kijoli, a young woman from Tanzania, was told that it was difficult for women to work in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) field in Tanzania.
“People used to tell me that ICT is very hard for women, but that didn’t pull me back. I wished to move forward, so I stuck to it. I studied ICT. I took an ICT course and I studied, but in my class there were only nine female and 40 male students. I wanted to compete with them.”
The challenges Kijoli faced as a young woman in tech aren’t unique – and they inspired her to take action to support other young women who face the same barriers in entering the tech sector.
Kijoli is now working as a Digital Champion and mentor through DOT. She helps young women and girls to take advantage of digital opportunities and provides digital literacy training.
“Some of the women I’ve worked with have started different businesses where they use technology to market their products. One girl named Asha has now started making fabric and selling it online, and that makes me feel very proud.”
Kijoli’s advice to young women interested in technology is to just take the first step. “I advise them not to fear to get into technology. There’s nothing hard about it. They can get into technology, and pay it back to the community like I do.”
Watch the video above to see Kijoi’s full interview about being a young woman who is bridging the gender digital divide in Tanzania.
*Kijoli was interviewed by Serena Ngai, UX Lead at Shopify, as a part of DOT’s ongoing digital divide series where private sector influencers interview daring young social innovators.
About Kijoli Mjombo
Kijoli Mjombo is an Information and Communications Technology graduate, and a proud woman in tech. Currently planning the launch of her first enterprise, Kijoli wants to empower girls from low-resource primary schools with technology skills and knowledge.
Kijoli works with Digital Opportunity Trust to run digital literacy programs for marginalized young women in her community.
About Serena Ngai
Serena Ngai is a UX lead at Shopify, building products that help grow their business.