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Gender and ICT “Achieving E-Quality in the ICT Sector” UNIFEM/Cisco Initiative. 5 th Annual Meeting for Telecom Development in the Arab Region Phoenicia Intercontinental Beirut May 28-31, 2003. Some Facts …. Some Facts. Women …. Constitute 70% of the world’s 1.3 billion absolute poor

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Gender and ICT

“Achieving E-Quality in the ICT Sector”

UNIFEM/Cisco Initiative

5th Annual Meeting for Telecom Development in the Arab Region

Phoenicia Intercontinental Beirut

May 28-31, 2003

Some Facts

Women …

  • Constitute 70% of the world’s 1.3 billion absolute poor

  • Work 2/3 of the world’s working hours

  • Earn 1/10 of the world’s income

  • Own less than 1/100 of the world’s property

Human Development Report 2000

Some Facts

Arab Women …

  • Constitute 2/3 of the 65 million illiterate Arab adults

  • Are the fastest improving in education

  • Have weak performance in economic and political empowerment

  • Have the lowest rate in women’s participation in work force

Arab Women Development Report 2002

UNIFEM/Cisco Initiative

Objectives and Components

UNIFEM/Cisco Initiative

Objective …

To empower women in the ICT sector, through building their capabilities and professional skills, ensuring equal opportunities with regards to the ICT job market and securing a gender sensitive policy environment

  • Executing Agency: UNIFEM

  • Implementing Agencies:

  • GOJ (MoICT, MoE, MoHE, MoP, MoL), UN Agencies, NIC

  • Collaborating Agencies:

  • GOJ, Cisco Systems, Cisco Foundation

  • Funding Agencies:

  • Cisco Systems, Cisco Foundation, UNIFEM, GOJ

UNIFEM/Cisco Initiative


Establish gender focused Cisco Networking Academy

Programs (CNAP) through national institutions for the

provision of high quality training for women

Capacity Building

Link CNAP graduates with the ICT Job Market (through

Bridging-Training workshops and the job placement


Job Placement

Positively affect IT policies and policy forums through

systematic monitoring that highlights gender gaps,

women’s potential contributions and participation

Policy Advocacy

Develop and disseminate an information base that

reflects a gender analysis of opportunities and challenges

in the ICT market and policy environment

Information Base

Achievements and

Success Stories

Achievements and success stories

Capacity Building - Cisco Networking Academy Program

  • Pilot Gender Focused CNAPs established and 60 Instructors trained

  • 80 Classes opened and 800 Students enrolled (65% females)

  • 600 completed semester 1&2, 100 graduated & certified (280 hrs.)

  • Database and tracking system developed

  • High demand from students and institutions

  • New experience, new method of learning

  • Phase II ‘Capacity Building’ action plan developed

Achievements and success stories

Job Placement Program

  • Soft skills training workshops enhanced market required skills

  • Gender training workshops raised awareness on gender issues

  • Promotional and media campaigns raised awareness among students and ICT market stakeholders

  • Network of market stakeholders created

  • Coordination with Recruitment Programs and Initiatives

  • Phase II Job Placement Action Plan developed

Achievements and success stories

Policy Advocacy and Awareness

  • Promotional and media campaigns targeting policy makers resulted in raising awareness on gender and development

  • Network of policy makers created

  • UNIFEM/MOICT Task Force developed mechanism to gender-sensitize national ICT initiatives

  • Major National ICT Initiatives are gender-sensitized

  • Phase II Policy Advocacy Action Plan developed

Achievements and success stories

Gender Sensitive Information Base

  • “Jordanian Women in the ICT Space” Research covering Jordan’s ICT Sector, women in Jordan (students, users, professionals and policy makers) and qualitative and quantitative assessment of women in ICT

  • High demand for Research findings by policy and decision makers

  • Research acting as a reference for planning ICT strategies and formulating national ICT initiatives

Dua’a Jankhot – YWCA

Dua’a was chosen from several

candidates to work in an IT

company. Dua’a says her Cisco

training at YWCA’s Vocational

Training Center has helped her

find a job and has been very

useful at her new job.

Shireen Hassan, Wadi Seer College

Immediately after finishing her training,

Shireen trained at a leading computer

company that specializes in building

Networks. “I was amazed that they

immediately accepted me. But I was even

more amazed to find that I was able to

apply all that I have learned from my Cisco

courses in my training. My training period

went so well that the company promised

to hire me after I finish my studying. They

even asked other Cisco students to train

and work with them”.

Ms. Kariman Abu Mughli

Princess Eman Information

Technology Community Center

Ms. Abu Mughli joined the Cisco

Program when she heard about

the UNIFEM/Cisco initiative

Because she believes that IT is

a crucial tool for development.

“I am not an IT person, yet I

joined to help my children learn

how to use the Internet


Alia Gharaibeh and Hayat Al-Jibali

Ajloun University College

Both Alia and Hayat have been

appointed as lab technicians in

Yarmouk University.

“If it wasn’t for the Cisco training, I

don’t think I would have been appointed,

this is a great opportunity for us”.

Key Obstacles and

Lessons Learned

Key Obstacles

  • Family pressure and socio-cultural norms

  • Lack of awareness on benefits of ICT for development and the need for ‘gender-balance’ in the ICT market

  • Lack of interest among females due to stereotyping, lack of role models and poor exposure

  • Gender-blind policies and lack of gender-sensitive statistics and information

  • Lack of commitment from partners, academies, contact persons and instructors

  • Access to PCs, poor Internet connection and English language barriers

Lessons Learned

Raising awareness on the benefits of the program is an integral part for the success of the project

Establishing a steering committee and developing regular communication among members is of great importance

Documenting and updating database and tracking system is a key requirement

Conducting soft skills training workshops (including Human Development and Career Development skills) is of great importance

Formulating specialized task forces consisting of stakeholders, policy makers and experts raises awareness, creates commitment and helps develop better plans

Regularly updating information and statistics on the ICT sector and disseminating among stakeholders and strategy planners, help facilitate dialog with policy makers and achieve objectives

Future Plans

  • Capacity Building: Ensure quality implementation, establish more networking academies in educational and training institutions and update database and tracking system

  • Job Placement: Conduct soft skills workshops, create regular communication network with market stakeholders, establish career counseling office and monitor ICT job market

  • Policy Advocacy: Strengthen communication with policy makers, monitor and evaluate changes, advocate formulation of ‘positive’ policies, update research and ensure engendering ICT policies & initiatives

  • Awareness: Launch an awareness campaign targeting market stakeholders, introduce role models and advocate new ICT practices

  • Extension and Expansion of the project