We are pleased to formally announce and welcome three new members of our global partnership. Now in our second year, EQUALS comprises more than 60 partners working together to bridge the gender digital divide. Our newest members are Next 3B, the Republic of Burundi and AfChix.
We welcome our first new partner, Next 3B, as an organization aimed at accelerating and facilitating the positive impact of the next three billion people joining the Internet. Their pilot project in India focuses on digital literacy, and future projects will all share the goal of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 5: the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women and girls.
Next 3B recognizes that the billions of new users of online services will likely connect via mobile phones, and will live in developing countries. Therefore, they are focusing on smartphones, connectivity, training, apps and local content. Finding ways to make sure gender equality is fundamental to digital expansion is a key priority in maximizing the potential in this vast new connected group.
"Internet adoption barriers represent an incredible moment for partnership innovation and to move the needle towards achieving SDG #5: why go solo when you can partner?" -- Marie-Claude Guay, Next 3B
The Republic of Burundi
The Republic of Burundi (Ministry of Youth, Post and Information Technologies) joins EQUALS as a member of both our Access and Skills Coalitions and hopes to gain expertise that can be applied in their local context. Some of the Ministry’s current efforts to bridge the gender digital divide include:
Planning a Girls in ICT Day celebration
Managing telecenters in rural Burundi to focus on women’s Internet access
Partnering with UNICEF to support ICT clubs in rural high schools
Supporting women’s associations to increase knowledge and capacity in technology
Today, many women and girls around the world cannot use online resources, typically because of a lack of digital skills and/or barriers to access. The Burundi Ministry is committed to improving the landscape for girls and women in ICTs.
"We need to equally allow men and women to gain ICT skills and have access to ICTs, with policies defined and oriented on digital equality, in order to allow them to act together responsibly as producers of new technologies that contribute to the sustainability of their societies. For Burundi, it's with great pleasure and pride that we have joined EQUALS to benefit from others in terms of best practices, but also to contribute with all partners to address this big challenge of bridging the digital gender divide." -- Evelyne Butoyi, Minister of Youth, Post and Information Technologies
Our new partner AfChix has chapters in more than 25 African countries devoted to mentoring girls and young women to encourage them to study computer science and join the tech sector. Some of the organization’s recent milestones include:
Mentoring and offering career guidance to 7000 high school girls in Kenya and Uganda
Installing 20 computers, a projector, and Internet to allow 300 hearing-impaired students at the Uganda Society for the Deaf practice basic ICT skills
Sending 50 participants to annual Grace Hopper Celebration Conferences in the United States, as well as to AfNOG Chix workshops and Africa Internet Summit conferences on the African continent
Sharing hundreds of resources, including job and scholarship opportunities, on the AfChix mailing list
We are happy to welcome these three new partners to the EQUALS global network. Together, we are building a foundation of diverse expertise, stakeholders, geographies and knowledge to make all women and girls #EQUALSinTech.
Are you interested in joining EQUALS? Contact the EQUALS Secretariat at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about what partnership entails and what you can gain from joining!