Information and Communication as well as digital Technologies are major drivers of gender equality and women’s economic empowerment across all sectors. On the other hand, there are risks of digital technologies that contribute to gender inequality in accessing ICT. Cyberbullying and online harassment are becoming common challenges among young females in the digital era.
Young girls and women with improved access to these technologies can benefit from increased employment, business performance, and access to opportunities as well as reduced women’s time spent on unpaid care and domestic work, enabling them to actively participate in the labor force. However, existing sociocultural norms, gender-based discriminations, and practices have a detrimental effect on women’s ability to access and use ICT to its fullest capacity and potential.
UN Women promotes and advocates young girls’ access to and use of ICT for advancing gender equality and women’s economic empowerment. It builds the capacity of young girls and women to increase their entrepreneurial skills and livelihood opportunities which contributes to close gender gaps in the digital divide and other related constraints that disadvantage women, including heavy workloads.
UN Women has been implementing the African Girls Can Code Initiative (AGCCI) that trains young girls to become programmers, creators, and designers, placing them on track to take up education and careers in ICT and CODING through conducting regional and national coding camps. The program enables young girls to improve their skills in ICT including coding and programming. The program supported 450 young girls aged between 17-20 years in Ethiopia to participate in the national coding camps.
Currently, UN Women in collaboration with the Ministry of Women and Social Affairs(MOWSA), Ministry of Innovation and Technology(MOIT), Ministry of Tourism, and Ministry of Labor and Skills(MOLS) is planning to award young girls who are computer programmers with innovative technologies; and products that have the potential to support other women in business, women enterprises, returnee migrant domestic workers to support them to engage in better livelihood options and women in agribusiness cooperatives as well as to support gender-responsive tourism. . Thus, to motivate and build the capacity of these girls having already existing innovative initiatives/ projects/programs/products/services that can support other women to increase their skills, facilitate better business operations, and thereby increase earnings and livelihood status as well as engage in public discussions including the national dialogue. UN Women will provide an award for best innovators and programmers.
The major objective of the award is to support young women/girls’ innovators, and programmers to scale up and better operationalize their ongoing initiatives and disseminate their products/services to the identified groups. The intended groups/targets are fellow women/girls in business, returnee migrant domestic workers, women-only primary cooperatives (both in rural and urban settings except Saving and Credit Cooperatives), and women in the tourism industry.
The award is designed to inspire and recognize innovative young girls with initiatives/projects on ICT that have the potential to drive a positive impact in the following areas, which are in line with the selection criteria.
The criteria for selecting potential applicants shall be based on an individual or group basis. Applicants may apply for the award if they meet the following requirements: –
Young females who win the competition will receive an award of 150,000 ETB each to further improve their project/initiative at a ceremony that will be held in Addis Ababa
Following the award ceremony, close follow-up and technical support will be provided to winners to implement their initiatives and support other women in linking them to the market and engaging them in business networks. To ensure this a Memorandum of Association (MOU) will be signed between the winners and UN Women and the organizing team clarifying roles and responsibilities.
Innovative young girls are requested to submit the following application documents to UN Women job portal, and the Ministry of Labour and Skills website: https://mols.gov.et/call-for-applications-award-for-young-girls/. The call can also be accessed through different social media including telegram.
The deadline to submit your application is October 27, 2023, If your application is successful, you will be contacted by the team on the next steps including interviews and related evaluation mechanisms.
Please note: If you are applying on behalf of a group initiative, we will consider it as a team in the competition.
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