ICT in Education/Change Projects/2015C Zimbabwe ICT and Education Policies towards Gender Equality

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Title of the change project : Inflame and Activate Information Communication and Technology and Education Policiestowards Gender Equality

Change agent : Kimberley Nyatanga

Email : kimberleynyatanga@gmail.com

Name of the organisation : Transformative Gender Institute

Country : Zimbabwe

Started date :

Status (finished/ongoing) :

1. Background of the project (problem):

ICTs play an essential role in the advancement of education, career development, work opportunities, and for social and economic development of young women and men. Girls and young women need to be exposed to technology (including ICTs) from an early age. Effective change in girls and women adopting a technical and non-traditional career needs to start with young children. By the time girls have reached the high school level, gender stereotypes are already well established. The lack of risk-taking / assertiveness / confidence in women needs to be addressed urgently. These life skills need to be developed from an early age.

Issues related to the gender digital divide have been prominent in discussions of the information society in Zimbabwe with challenges of parents’ lack of support, teachers’ stereotypic and individual lack of interest cited. Furthermore, the scarceness of statistical data on the subject makes it difficult, if not impossible, to make the case for the inclusion of gender issues in ICT policies, plans, and strategies to policymakers in Zimbabwe. Up till now, there is a gap in terms of the number of girls who complete secondary and advance to tertiary education and when they do complete their studies there are discrepanciesas to where some of the female graduates find employment and their ability to reach positions of influence in their sectors. Without data, there is a lack of visibility translating to lack of priority for programming. There is a quest for reviewing the draft ICT national policy and strategy and this represents a policy thrust by Zimbabwe to harness the power and promise of ICTs in education. Absence of educational training is a disadvantage for girls and young women. The information economy demands technological literacy. TGI considers that ICTs by empowering especially endangered groups like the girls and young women, could help in overcoming the financial crisis and mass unemployment of the young generations and work towards gender equality. ICTs are considered one part of the broader context of educational transformation.

2. Objectives :

• To develop training programmes for girls in schools to encourage the use of technology / ICTs

• To raise awareness and provide girls and young women with access to information and contact with employers and educators working in the field of ICTs and encourage the adoption of ICTs and possible careers in ICTs for development

• To promote ICT education and career for youth without gender discrimination and thus, encourage young girls and women to be part of ICT sector

• To determine the challenges and needs of girls and young women and collect quantitative and qualitative data in relation to accessing technology / ICTs for informed programming

• To establish partnerships with Funding Partners, like minded organisations and Stakeholders, in order to develop and/or support specific ICT projects that target girls and young women

3. Stakeholders :

The target group will be girls and young women in primary and secondary schools (from 9 years old) as well as young women in tertiary institutions. Secondary target group: Government ministries, policy makers, identified relevant private sector companies, Non-governmental organisations, and educational institutions at primary, secondary and tertiary – both traditional and new information technologists.

4. List of Activities :

- Baseline study and Needs assessment 

- Stakeholder Engagement Meetings to Lobby and advocate influencing planning and administration in education

- Career fairs

- Media Campaign

- Development of policy briefs on the current draft National ICT policy and Educational policies

- Mentorship by older women already in the ICT sector

- Review and Evaluation of implemented activities

5. Expected result ;  

• Increased awareness of girls and young women’s potential to enter into ICT careers 

• Informed programming by TGI 

• Strengthened policies with regards to ICTs and education

• Increased levels of knowledge, visibility, strategic links and participation of girls and young women in the ICTs educational sector

• Strengthened partnerships of stakeholders to advance the rights of girls and young women and establishment of dialogue between educational institutions and ICT corporations/professionals

• Increased awareness on the use of ICTs for development by young women

• Widespread responsiveness of degenderizing the ICT sector

• Concerted social, political and economic effort in ensuring girls and young women are well equipped in ICTs 

6.  Actual result  : Ongoing project

7. The Project organisation : Transformative Gender Institute

Last Updated : 08 February 2016