Access to technology transforms lives for rural women

For the Day of Rural Women, the Equals Global Partnership (EQUALS) has provided an insight about the challenges that rural women have when it comes to access to technology, as well as potential that technology plays in the hands of these women. It has been noted that, what the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations in their Gender and ICTs report calls ‘triple divide: digital, rural, and gender’ – still persists. Apart from the access to technology and related skills, literacy presents a crucial challenge in order for rural women to be part of the digital world of today. ‘Two-thirds of the 700 million adults who are illiterate are women.’ The FAO also provides suggestions on how to make ICTs more accessible to women. EQUALS’ partners around the world are actively working on connecting ‘poor and rural women and girls to digital technologies’. The African Girls can Code and Americas Girls Can Code initiatives teach both rural and urban young girls basic coding skills, which helps them develop an interest in coding and ICTs in general. Other initiatives such as Africa Code Week and ProMujer focus on digital literacy, coding skills, and access to sustainable learning, while targeting rural areas. This year’s overarching theme for the Day Of Rural Women is ‘Rural Women and Girls Building Climate Resilience’. On this occasion, it has been noted that ‘Empowered women have greater capacity to respond to climate change, they plan important roles in adapting low-carbon technologies, spreading knowledge about climate change, and urging action.’ Enabling women to access technology directly impacts sustainable practices, and ‘lower mortality rates during natural disasters’.