Empowering Women & Young Girls through Data
Towards agenda 50/50 by 2030, embracing young women in data driven agenda
According to ITU “Women account for one-half of the potential talent base throughout the world”, but yet women face a number of challenges; Women globally are paid 63% less than Men as reported by Oreilly – 2016, only 15% of women own agriculture land in Africa despite this being major source of income as reported by WomenThrive.org and 42% of women are subjected to sexual violence in Tanzania as documented in 2015/2016 DHS survey.
Despite these challenges women in Tanzania continued to participate less even in open opportunities. For instance, only less than 30% women participated in dLab public free courses in 2016. In realizing these and many other challenges dLab established a program dedicated to women and young girls dubbed “women in data” in March, 2017. Apart of addressing issues of low participation of women in data courses, the program intends to increase participation of women across all sectors and make agenda 50/50 by 2030 possible through data use for decision making.
To boost participation of women and girls in data agenda, dLab introduced two programs dedicated at empowering girls and women in the society. dLab mobilized women and girls in partnership with community development organizations and developed curriculum tailored for women and girls leading up to more than 13 workshops to date.
To maximize output of the program dLab joined efforts with tech hubs in the country such as Apps and Girls and She Code for Change to reach out to young girls below 20 years age in secondary schools and hubs like UDICTi and Help to Help to reach out to girls at universities between 20-25 years of age. The track for young girls focus on empowering the girls with basic data analytics skills that could enable them to identify community challenges through open data. The program further trains the girls in innovation skills that empower them to design appropriate interventions and build a business case.
Outcomes and Impact
The young girls empowerment programme have created the following impacts and/or outcomes since its inception;
- dLab has reached 54% of all trainees to be females from the 360 female trainees out of the total trainees who got trained by dLab training team. Most of the percentage is contributed by women trainings on data wrangling skills and girls trainings on community challenges identification through open data and coming up with business solutions to the challenges.
- Through the skills acquired from trainings some of the women got promotions at their workplaces and some girls generate fund from the business solutions they developed and at the same time suppressing societies challenges.
Doreen Kaijage: As a 16 year old secondary school student, noticed that many students lack balance diet due to high consumption of french fries dubbed as “chips”. She is now developing a food hub app, once the app is complete students will be able to order food online while at school at affordable price. Doreen Won second position in two Competitions, Diamond Innovation Challenge and Girls Entrepreneurship Summit. She won cash prize and android phone which will help her further implement the idea and program her mobile app respectively. Ilham Mohamed: An 18 years old secondary school student. She applied her data analysis skills to realize Cervical and breast cancer are the second most common cancer diseases and second cause of mortality among women in Tanzania. She is taking action by organizing workshops with Specialist from Ocean Road Cancer Institute in Tanzania to raise awareness on the disease and advocacy of testing. Recently she conducted a workshop which was attended by 30 students through her project known as “Life Force”. Ilham, is now developing web platform which will be dedicated to raise awareness on Cervical and breast cancer. Hyacinta Luhanga: As a `19 years old secondary school student, Hyacinta is determine to use open data to make changes in the society. She is developing an app that uses open datasets to locate safe water points in the country. Hyasinta is the founder of “ToneNaMaisha”, a startup which locates and map safe water points in Tanzania. She was a third winner on Data For Innovation competition by dLab and Apps and Girls
- dLab partnerships with community groups and hubs that teach girls on data wrangling skills and coding such as Apps & Girls and Niwezeshe Lab (Nlab)
- Emergence of partnerships with other organizations/initiative such as FSDT through FinScope Tanzania that funded the 2018 Girls in ICT programme to support the theme of Financial Inclusion for Young Women. Also FSDT is promising to share its datasets every year onwards on dLab data portal so as to catalyse and ease the access to data to support business solutions generated by innovators around open data.
3. Khangas are fabrics worn by women which traditionally contain powerful, bold social messages.