Using technology to empower women, Jordanian Youth develop new initiatives

March 8, 2018

By Noura El-Turk

The Sisterhood is Global Institute – Jordan (SIGI) organised the Technological Summit, in collaboration with Hivos as part of the Women Empowered for Leadership (WE4L) program with the title, “Youth Participation in Public Affairs”. The summit took place from 21 to 23 of December 2017 in Amman.

Technology is an essential tool for social development

More than half of the world’s population uses the internet on a regular basis. There are 147 million users from the Middle East region, that’s 60% of the region’s population. Jordan has an internet penetration rate of

Technology has become an essential tool for social development, particularly in terms of communication, research and outreach. Given the dominance of technology in our daily lives and structures, SIGI sought to enable youth with the necessary technological tools to empower women and strive towards a fully gender inclusive society.

Jordanian youth develop technological initiatives to empower women

While the women’s quota has improved women’s political participation, women continue to face negative stereotyping, social scrutiny, as well as structural challenges such as lack of freedom of mobility, weak networking capacities and little financial stability.

The summit was attended by 86 young participants (51 women and 35 men) who were  engaged and eager to find solutions to empower women and increase their representation in society.

On the first day, sessions were held on women’s rights, women participation in politics, women and youth in leadership positions and involvement in public affairs.

On the second day, participants were divided into 10 groups. Each group was asked to come up with an initiative that empower women in politics, civic engagement and leadership positions.
The challenge was to find creative ways to utilise technology to create new initiatives toward gender equality.

Once all the groups had presented their proposed initiatives, each group was assessed by a jury on their ideas, teamwork, and task delegation.

 Youth initiatives given small grants to develop ideas

The winning teams were Zeitoun, Teslam Idak and Bayan group. Initiatives presented included,creating a website to increase female university student’s participation in university activities, creating an app to facilitate communication between women and local councils on complaint procedures, and an app to promote home businesses for women who are unable to work outside the home.

Once the winners were chosen, SIGI and Hivos granted these groups financial support to start implementing their initiatives. Through this workshop, participants became aware of and actively engaged in advocating for women’s rights and political representation. By giving knowledge and the relevant tools to youth, Hivos an SIGI hope to contribute towards a fully gender inclusive society.

The Sisterhood is Global Institute/ Jordan (SIGI) is a Jordanian NGO that seeks to empower women and enhance their participation in the social, political, economical and legal spheres. Through capacity building, civic engagement, advocacy and social aid, SIGI aims to build gender inclusive democratic societies governed by freedom, social justice, equal opportunities and citizenship. It is a Hivos partner in the Women Empowered for Leadership programme which is funded by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ FLOW fund.