I joined Outernet as content creation and outreach began ramping up. One of our goals is to distribute information to marginalized people across the globe, particularly in areas without access to Internet. One of the most noticeable trends of marginalized groups is the serious gender gap in education, particularly in these areas.
Women, representing over half the population on Earth, face inequalities around the globe. Worldwide, women’s literacy rates lag behind men, and school enrollment is significantly lower for girls than boys. Investing in women’s education has proven to drastically improve outcomes not only for the women themselves, but their communities as well.
While Outernet helps to provide resources to advance education, we recognize that the mere existence of our technology doesn’t guarantee women will benefit. In a previous discussion, it was brought up that women are underrepresented in technology-related fields (see this article from Wired). For these reasons, we decided it is our responsibility to take steps to ensure women are included in Outernet, and so my role was born.
As Director of Women’s Initiatives I am putting Outernet technology in the hands of women by reaching out to organizations working to improve opportunities for women in places where these inequalities are most pronounced. Along with this outreach, I am curating open source content dedicated to women to be included in our Core Archive. Think of it as a women’s section you might find in a library. I am talking to experts for suggestions for content and guidance in addressing gender bias.
On this note, I invite everyone to weigh in on what should be included. I would love to have a constructive exchange of ideas.