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Bridging the Digital Divide in Education for Women and Girls with Disabilities

Today! On Tuesday 8 March 2016, the world celebrates the International Women's Day.
The official United Nations theme for IWD in 2016 is Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality, accelerate and build momentum for the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and other existing commitments on gender equality, women’s empowerment and women’s human rights.
I am very excited that I write in this day about bridging the digital divide in education, and summarize certain proposals for digital literacy campaign for women and girls with disabilities, the campaign aims to develop an effective strategy to enhance ICTs accessibility and IT skills among them specifically in the rural poor areas in developing countries.
To close the gender and digital gap, women and girls with disabilities have a critical role to play in all of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in order to effectively leave no one behind.
Information and Communication Technology (ICT), ICT accessibility and Assistive Technology (AT) can be used in the most effective ways for education, employment, inclusion, livelihoods, healthcare and digital literacy for them.
Innovative programs will transform the lives of women and girls with disabilities in society.
It's time to address that! It’s time to address key challenges such as poverty, inequality and social exclusion and, specifically address the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities as agents and beneficiaries of development.
Women and girls with disabilities also continue to suffer from discrimination and therefore unequal opportunities in terms of accessing mainstream education, employment and participation in social activities and society, largely remain in the margins of the national and global efforts on gender equality and disability rights.
The biggest barrier to educational equity for girls with disabilities may be their invisibility. So we need joint efforts by all for preparing training online, programs and digital literacy modules maybe that the first step in problem solving is to start implementing the solution to close the gender and digital gap.

Key issues identified for the campaign

  • Bridging the digital divide in developing countries and empower women and girls with disabilities.
  • Digital literacy modules
  • Gender and ICT accessibility
  • The ability of women and girls with disabilities to accessible access to information
  • The ability to accessing to internet as critical part of modern society.
  • Ensure the inclusion of all women and girls with disabilities in the digital age.
  • Women and girls with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to being digitally excluded because of the following factors such as: lack of awareness, lack of necessary ICT accessibility tools and applications, high cost for broadband and assistive equipment.


Target Group

  • Women and girls with disabilities aged 18-35 years

Bridging the digital divide in education in developing countries open a great opportunities to improve the quality of life women and girls with disabilities.
Education is possible where girl’s students with disabilities want to learn, develop, live and finally work in the future. The role of strategy is rehabilitating ICTs, IT and accessibility in the field of disabilities to acquire education and employment.

  • Development of women and girls with disabilities to successful transition from education to work.
  • Increase education participation earnings and the quality of education for groups that experience persistent education barriers including women and girls with disabilities.
  • Improve overall education outcomes through extending Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and sustainable education objectives.
  • Encourage the development of a range of options recognizing the diverse needs of women and girls with disabilities.
  • Ensure women and girls with disabilities have the same education and inclusion conditions and foster an aware and responsive public service.
  • Improve and develop the necessary human and knowledge resources required to deliver the specialized training, which will enable women and girls with disabilities to become gainfully employed.

The strategy of the campaign

  • Training includes all kinds of women and girls with disabilities, all trainees participate in the training with take into consideration the activities of trainees within their community.
  • Direct training through specialists, developers, special education educators and volunteers.
  • Indirect training through communicating with household and parents.
  • Exchange of expertise with the other interested agencies, universities, researcher and specialists.
  • Promoting accessibility in digital literacy courses and provide high quality web courses by making the web accessible to all.
  • Implementing accessible e-learning network for women and girls with disabilities teachers to exchange lessons, courses online and information among themselves.
  • Trainees may also have received different levels of education and, therefore, they must be encouraged to work as a team, helping one another.

In this area we can explore practical examples of using ICT to assist with the teaching of women and girls with disabilities by help in identifying the most appropriate technologies for addressing individual needs, and suggestions on how these might be managed in educational learning, understanding of ICT and an awareness of the needs of learners with different disabilities. This aim is identify key areas in which ICT accessibility can help particular learners with disabilities

We can find practical experiences of using low-tech aids and ICT, AT to support access to the curriculum focusing on students girls with disabilities to include a series of templates designed to help and create special training for them to achieve the2030 agenda for SDGs.

The future, moving from advocacy to action, to close the gender and digital gap for women and girls with disabilities. The use ICT accessibility for the education is needed to be looked at by government, organizations, policy makers, researchers, accessibility developers and information providers in more depth.
It’s time to strengthen the civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of women and girls with disabilities
These suggestions give an insight not only into areas of present and future need, but also into the role of ICT in education for all persons with disabilities.

Nabil Eid
Tlecentre Foundation
Twitter: @nabileid1 

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