COL project helps redefine gender roles in South Africa

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COL’s partner SchoolNet  South Africa is building digital literacy in out-of-school women and girls. With unemployment especially dire for 15- to 24-year-olds, this initiative develops awareness about digital technologies, provides access to entrepreneurial and education resources, and nurtures learners’ confidence and other essential skills.

Through COL’s GIRLS Inspire, learners are building the foundation for what typically are considered “male skills” and to encourage young women to pursue careers in a range of IT fields.

“COL is helping redefine gender roles by increasing equitable relations in the communities as well as providing training to women in areas, which have been traditionally reserved for men only,” noted Ms Frances Ferreira, COL Education Specialist: Gender.

The project includes a blend of in-person and virtual training, with focus on personal branding and essential skills, digital literacy, and coding and technical skills. It has reached over 300 women and girls to date across the country.

“As a young girl from a society where we were not exposed to computers and didn’t even get a chance at school, I am forever grateful for this opportunity,” said one of the participants, who now has her own blog where she shares her life experiences.

“My favorite part was coding with Scratch, and in future I would like to study coding and be able to program my own projects.”

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