Girls have a better chance of earning, learning, and thriving than ever before. This is for many reasons. But digital transformation is an important contributing factor to positive female development around the world. This is how digital is helping women and girls across the board.
Mobile world helping African girls and women to learn
Smartphones are the digital revolution of the 21st century. They’ve transformed our access to information and the way we communicate. This is helping to educate and empower girls across the world.
Norwegian company Opera Software is famous for creating Opera Mini. This a mobile web browser with 300 million users. Opera Software surveyed 1,500 African women and men aged between 14 and 44. It added the results together with data from 50,000 Worldreader app readers. The results showed:
- African girls are using mobile phones for self-development
- African girls are as savvy with tech as men
- African girls are reading more e-books than men
- African women between 26 and 44 are reading e-books about career development
Mobile African girls have greater access to learning than ever before. And African women are finally able to get an education. A Kenyan mother called Margaret explains the transformative effect of smartphones:
“I did not go to school and there was a time I was employed in a nursery school to clean there. When I saw children learning, I had that desire in me that I can become a teacher. But the books are so expensive.
“Everything we want to learn we can find it in our phones. Now my dream can come true because I have started teaching.”
More needs to happen to give all girls access to education. But due to smartphones, more girls are now able to learn on the gp.
Digital platforms are giving girls job opportunities
In March 2018, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) published a revealing report. Empowering Women In The Digital Age looked at many issues:
- Women in science
- Female inventors
- Girls in software
- Ladies in the workplace
It found that digital platforms are helping girls and women to find work. It made some important points:
- The ratio of female Uber drivers is higher than for “traditional taxis”
- Platforms have a higher female employment rate than “traditional industries or businesses”
Platforms are giving girls easier access to markets from across the globe. For example, women living in India can buy a business in America. Or girls in South America can start a company using a Chinese distributor.
Digital has also transformed female representation in corporate roles. The board of Chinese online retailer Alibaba is 30% female — this compares against an average of 6% for other Asian industries.
There’s still much to do to reduce the gender gap in employment. But the transformation brought by digital platforms and tech is helping.
#MeToo has brought women across the world together
Me Too dates back to 2006. It was first used by African-American civil rights activist Tarana Burke. Burke made “MeToo” into a movement to raise awareness of sexual abuse and assault. 11 years later it exploded into #MeToo.
Since US actress Alyssa Milano tweeted it, #MeToo has been used millions of times. It’s led to the public trial of Harvey Weinstein and many other high profile cases. But it’s not only American women #MeeToo has brought together.
- Palestinian Territories
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
#MeToo has transformed female empowerment across the world. Women are now have a “greater sense of psychological security in the workplace.” This has seen an increase in number of reported sexual abuse cases, as women know their voices will now be heard.
Women and girls are still subject to abuse and harassment. But #MeToo has used the digital landscape to give women the unity to fight it.
While digital transformation is helping girls around the world, the work isn’t done. Women are still denied jobs, education, and their rights to govern their lives everyday. Let’s continue fighting until gender inequality ends.