UN partners with Philippines NGO to train women in IT

8 Apr 2011

The United Nations telecommunications agency has joined forces with a Philippines-based non-governmental organisation (NGO) to train 1m women across the world to use computers and other information and communications technology (ICT) applications to improve their livelihoods.

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will collaborate with Telecentre.org Foundation over the next 18 months on the project, to offer training courses in at least 20,000 telecentres worldwide employing the ‘training the trainer’ model.

“With technology now widely recognised as a critical enabler for socio-economic development, this campaign will further reinforce ITU’s global efforts to promote the digital inclusion of women, and will be a key element in achieving Millennium Development Goal 3 on gender equality,” said Hamadoun Touré, the ITU secretary-general.

Basheerhamad Shadrach, the executive director of Telecentre.org Foundation, believes offering digital skills to more than 1m women at the grassroots will help break the current norm where technologies are used mostly by men.

Under the terms of the agreement, ITU and Telecentre.org Foundation are encouraging governments, the private sector and other international organisations to contribute digital literacy curricula in local languages and to supply trainers and other resources to national telecentres.

ITU will provide a number of curricula developed by its Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), particularly from its ‘Connect a School, Connect a Community’ initiative.

ITU has also developed a range of digital literacy training materials designed to be used in school-based community centres and multi-purpose telecentres, by women, indigenous peoples and people with disabilities.