Hivos initiative to bring girls closer to technology

December 11, 2014

Hivos in Central America has launched a follow-up to its earlier campaign “Tenía que ser Mujer” from March 2014. Called “Tenía que ser mujer… creadora” (It must have been a woman – creator), the new initiative aims to celebrate a brighter future for this and new generations of women by bringing girls closer to technology.

The report ‘Technology is everywhere, but where are the girls?’ concluded, “Women are avid users of technology, but they are significantly underrepresented in its creation. The lack of participation in this area has consequences not only them, but also for the future of technical innovation.”

To close the gender gap across the technology sector, Hivos has partnered with Fundación Omar Dengo (FOD), a non-profit organization focused on capacity building supported by the use of new technologies. We will collaborate in a program especially aimed at girls between 12 and 20 years old. Through workshops and camps, girls will be trained in computing skills, robotics, technology and programming. The program aims to help girls realize that technology is interesting, they can be good at it and that it can be used for things that matter to them.

The launch activities of the program started on December 8 with the workshop “Codificá tu estilo” (Code your style). The event brought together 24 young women who worked in teams to design and create wearable technology. After nine hours, they went home with programmed bags, wallets, shirts, and other wearable tech items.

The follow-up activity on December 9 was a workshop on robotics and programming, in which the girls learned how to build a robot with Legos and other materials and program it.

Next year, Hivos and the FOD will continue this effort of engaging more women in technology through workshops, camps and contests. This is a Hivos initiative to continue our efforts to empower women in the region.