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A plan for the growth of the digital skills of women

A plan for the growth of the digital skills of women

NEW YORK & GENEVA, Feb 10 (Bernama) — Along with the support of Mary Kay, International Telecommunication Union and Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator, women entrepreneurs around the world will soon be equipped with the necessary digital skills for their own economic empowerment through a high-quality skills training program.

In addition to the online modules, and in support of WEA, ITU and Mary Kay will also contribute to building a women empowerment ecosystem through the launch of an annual Innovation Challenge.

landmark McKinsey Global Institute report finds that $12 trillion could be added to global GDP by 2025 if underserved women around the world are given access to crucial digital skills education.

“Digital literacy isn’t a nice-to-have anymore—it’s a necessity,” says Deborah Gibbins, Chief Operating Officer of Mary Kay Inc.

“It’s crucial that women in developing and least developed countries are given access to high-quality, highly-effective digital skills training so they can equally compete with entrepreneurs from developed markets. Through our work with WEA and ITU, we’re going to make it happen.”

The digital divide remains wide in developing countries, where only 19% of women are using and benefiting from the internet¹. These inequalities have been particularly exposed through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many—if not all—entrepreneurs have had to adapt to current circumstances by moving their businesses online. Simply put: potential women entrepreneurs in developing countries and least developed countries (LDCs) cannot get businesses up and running unless they have the digital skills required.

Helping women

“ITU is thrilled to partner with the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator to inspire, educate, and empower women entrepreneurs around the world,” says Doreen Bogdan-Martin (Photo), Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau at ITU.

“By working together to build digital skills and an ICT-enabled environment around these entrepreneurs, we can help women take their place as equal, skilled leaders in driving economic growth.”

The “Bridging the Digital Gender Divide” initiative, which will be translated into several languages, will consist of:
· 17 online modules on General Digital Skills training for young women and entrepreneurs in developing countries and least developed countries
· 8 online modules on Digital Skills for Women Entrepreneurs in the Textiles and Apparel sector
· 4 online modules on Management Skills for Women Entrepreneurs in Technology
· 2-4 online modules for the Course on Green Entrepreneurship and Economy
· 2-4 online modules for the Course on Care Entrepreneurship and Economy

The project is unprecedented in its potential global reach. The focus of the training—on providing gender transformative digital skills for women entrepreneurs—will also contribute to ensuring inclusive societies and economies through Information and Communication Technologies. It will enable women from developing and LDCs to access a free, high-quality curriculum that will takes them through a strategic learning journey from self-identifying as an entrepreneur to acquire the digital skills required to advance in the digital economy.

The project will contribute to the Women’s Entrepreneurship Accelerator by creating an enabling ecosystem for women entrepreneurs to thrive and advance inclusive and sustainable growth. It also directly contributes to the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, and several of its goals, those related to SDG 1 (poverty), SDG 4 (education), SDG 5 (gender) and SDG 17 (partnerships).