Emerging Trends | SDG5
May 1, 2019

Partners unite for ‘Girls in ICT Day’ in Guatemala

By Lauren C. O’Neill, Alliance Programme Officer for Central America at Pro Mujer

Tecpán, a small Guatemalan city in the Department of Chimaltenango, suffers from a digital divide in the country. The digital skills divide, in particular, is impacted by gender, as it negatively impacts Guatemalan women and girls at a higher rate than men and boys.

To celebrate International Girls in ICT Day on 25 April and to offer new services and resources to the Tecpán community, Pro Mujer coordinated with SERES and joined forces with SHEVA, an innovative Guatemalan organization that teaches women and girls how to take advantage of existing life-changing tools accessed through mobile technology.

Together, by leveraging our combined resources and expertise, our organizations invited 35 girls, aged 14-17, to participate in two of SHEVA’s ¨She’s Connected¨ trainings over the month of April. The first of the SHEVA trainings, which was held on 4 April, empowered participants to acquire basic mobile technology skills and oriented the girls on how to navigate mobile apps such as Duolingo, Canva, Facebook and WhatsApp, among others.

SHEVA facilitators provide expert mobile technology education trainings to Guatemalan women and girls.

“We accessed applications on a smartphone and learned how to use security in Facebook, languages on Doulingo, and search videos on Youtube,” said Glendy, a SERES Facilitator and Opportunity Center Coordinator. “The girls were excited to have access to mobile technology and begin to understand the basics of these tools.”

Girls in Tecpán during a recent ¨She’s Connected¨ SHEVA training session.

Pro Mujer will continue to form partnerships that provide expert resources and services that excite, encourage and empower girls and young women to expand their perspectives and consider studies and careers in the growing field of information and communication technology (ICT). With more access to resources and inclusive programming both girls and technology companies will reap the benefits of greater female participation in the technology sector.

The second ¨She’s Connected¨ training, will be held shortly and deepen the skills the girls acquired in the first session.

By joining forces to create a more balanced digital world, Pro Mujer, SERES and SHEVA plan to continue our partnerships based on belief that in order for women and girls to reach their full potential and achieve independence, they must be oriented on how to access information, use existing resources efficiently, and communicate their stories with the world to shape their own futures, leading to stronger families, communities, economies, and technology.

A ¨She’s Connected¨ training participant learns how to use new mobile tools in Tecpán, Guatemala.

As an active EQUALS global partner, Pro Mujer is prioritizing activities that aim to bridge the vast digital gender divide as we expand our geographic footprint through strategic partnerships in the Central American country of Guatemala.

As part of these expansion efforts, we have opened a center for women and youth in Tecpán in partnership with SERES, a leading Central American organization that works to combat complex social, environmental and economic challenges by cultivating and catalyzing youth leaders.

Lauren C. O’Neill is the Alliance Programme Officer for Central America with Pro Mujer, a social enterprise focused on empowering women in Latin America with economic, health and education opportunities. Lauren is a seasoned field professional with a decade of experience working with social enterprises and nonprofits in Latin America, the Caribbean and the U.S.
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Partners unite for ‘Girls in ICT Day’ in Guatemala

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