UN forms partnership to train women on computer use to boost livelihoods

7 April 2011

The United Nations telecommunications agency today partnered with a Philippines-based non-governmental organization (NGO) to train a million women worldwide to use computers and other information and communications technology (ICT) applications to improve their livelihoods.

The UN International Telecommunication Union (ITU) will work with telecentre.org Foundation over the next 18 months on the project, to offer training courses in at least 20,000 telecentres worldwide using the “training the trainer” model.

“With technology now widely recognized 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.

According to Basheerhamad Shadrach, the Executive Director of telecentre.org Foundation, offering digital skills to over one million women at the grassroots will help change the current norm where technologies mostly benefit men.

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

ITU will contribute a number of curricula developed by its Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT), notably 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.

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UN partners with West African nations to boost information technology in universities

The United Nations agency tasked with promoting education and the West African monetary union today signed an agreement to launch a $12 million project to boost the information and communications technology (ICT) capacity of universities by creating a regional virtual library network.