As part of the United Nation(UN) and International Telecommunications Union (ITU) GEM Tech Awards, Ethel Cofie was 1 of 5 shortlisted from over 360 nominations for the GEM Tech Awards under the Category : Promoting Women in ICT Sector. Winners will be announced at PP-14 on 28th October 2014. Below is the list of the 5 shortlisted candidates for the same category. Categories which have Africans shortlisted are also listed here.
CATEGORY 3: Promoting Women in ICT Sector – initiatives aimed at attracting, retaining and promoting women within the ICT sector and into decision-making positions (private and public sector)
Luna Shamsuddoha – President, Bangladesh Women in Technology (Bangladesh)
Luna’s efforts have been in gender equality and inclusion of women and girls through education participation in the ICT sector in particular. She has been engaged in a number of activities to promote gender empowerment within the ICT sector including leadership roles in private business, government and the banking sector, and advocacy work through speaking roles and work with various NGOs.
Ethel Cofie – Founder, Women in Technology Alliance Africa (Ghana)
Ethel Cofie is the founder of the Women in Tech group in Ghana, a platform to help women in the ICT industry grow and climb the cooperate ladder with networking sessions. The events have brought together a variety of speakers such as Estelle Akrofi, Country Manager of Google, and Otema Yirenkyi, Country Manager of Microsoft Ghana, who draw on their diverse range of backgrounds and personal experiences to discuss tips, tricks, and anecdotes on how women can take advantage of changes happening in the high tech world.
Ifat Baron – Executive Director, ITWorks-Empowering People (Israel)
Ifat Baron established ITWorks, an Israeli non-profit organization in 2006, to provide economically disenfranchised women throughout Israel with technological training, professional skills, and job placement support, helping them launch careers in unfilled positions in Israel’s hi-tech and communications industries. ITWorks has provided approximately 1,100 women with the tools for financial self-sufficiency and long-term integration into Israel’s thriving technology sectors, successfully maintaining a 73% quality job placement rate.
Dr Salim Sultan Salim Al Ruzaiqi – CEO, Information Technology Authority (Oman)
Dr Salim is active in bridging the digital gender divide and empowering women in Oman. Realising that Omani women cannot be left behind in the pursuit of knowledge in the digital age, he has implementation of various capacity building initiatives targeted for Omani women, so they become avid users and contributors in a knowledge-based economy.
BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT (UK)
Established in 2007, BCSWomen is a group of almost 1500 IT professionals who, as volunteers, work on numerous initiatives to encourage more women to join the IT profession and support those who are part of it, including training courses, virtual activities using social media and discussion groups. The group comprises women working in technology based roles from across all industry sectors and has an international membership.
Other African Persons and Projects shortlisted under different categories:
CATEGORY 1: ICT Applications, Content, Production Capacities and Skills for Women’s Social, Political Empowerment and Women’s Empowerment Linkages with Sustainable Development.
Muso Ladamunen – MAMMA project (Mobile Mothers against Malaria in Mali) (Mali)
UNESCO – Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool (Ethiopia)
Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool is a platform that consists of multimedia educational resources including comic strips, audio modules, and quizzes which highlight the role of women in African history.
CATEGORY 2: ICT Applications, Content, Production Capacities and Skills for Women’s Economic Empowerment and Poverty Reduction
Sophie Kumwanje – Malawi Country Manager, Grow Movement, (Malawi)
Grow Movement provides virtual consultancy to female entrepreneurs, aimed at improving their ICT, financial literacy and marketing skills which enables each woman to run their businesses better, employ more people in their community and earn more money.
Asikana Network (Zambia)
The organization aims to increase female participation in computer science. In order to do so, the Asikana Network focuses on teaching ICT skills to young girls, paying particular attention to vulnerable girls so that they can access better jobs
CATEGORY 4: Enabling Girls to Become ICT Creators – initiatives aimed towards providing girls with an opportunity to become not just active users but also creators of ICTs and content
CEFEPROD (Women’s Centre for the Promotion of Development) (Cameroon)
The organization is engaged in multiple activities to encourage women and girls to participate in the ICT sector. These include annual ‘Girls in ICT Day’ celebrations which aim to encourage thousands of young girls to choose science courses and careers in the ICT sector by giving talks in schools, hosting competitions and inviting female leaders in the ICT sector to share their experiences with the girls.
Category 5: Closing the ICT Gender Gap – Ensuring ICT accessibility for women, such as digital literacy training and ensuring affordable and meaningful access to ICTs by women. Initiatives aimed at measuring the ICT gender gap including research and data on women’s engagement with ICTs and their impact
Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) (Nigeria)
Set up in 2008, the Women’s Technology Empowerment Centre (W.TEC) builds the capability of Nigerian girls and women to increase their economic power and to speak about issues affecting their lives through information and communication technology (ICT)-based training and projects, focusing on education, activism, entrepreneurship, and professional activities.
Category 6: Efforts to Reduce Threats Online and Building Women’s Confidence and Security in the Use of ICTs
Association for Progressive Communication (APC) – Feminist Tech Exchanges (FTX) (South Africa)
Through skills diffusion and capacity building, the Feminist Tech Exchange (FTX) empowers women’s rights organizations, advocates and feminists. FTXs train women’s rights advocates in essential internet, audio and other technical skills to enable them to use technology to more effectively to document abuses, build knowledge, disseminate information, mobilize support and amplify pressures for change
Category 7: ICT and Broadband strategies policies, framework that promote women’s digital empowerment
Federal Ministry of Communication Technology (Nigeria)
The social and economic transformation of Nigeria requires that the economically active population be empowered and productive. Women, a significant part of this population, traditionally tend to be marginalized, but ICTs provide a useful avenue for the inclusion and active participation of women in development.
For further details about the Awards finalists, please visit http://www.itu.int/en/action/women/gem/Pages/finalists.aspx