An Application of GEM
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For measuring gender equality in ICT4D we selected Computer Literacy Programme (CLP) of D.Net, objective of which is to empower underprivileged youth in Bangladesh through computer literacy.
The main research question is whether application of Gender Evaluation Methodology (GEM) makes a project more effective for the community.
Developed gender sensitization workshop and programme with the project stakeholders
Wrote article on gender perspective of the projects and share the evaluation results with them through conference calls and e-mail interactions in order to motivate them to invest more on girls’ schools to make the project for real underprivileged
Designed suitable platforms to create awareness on gender issues among the teachers and parents
Selection Process: Selection process of school was consciously gender sensitive. Out of 83 schools 84% are co-education schools, 14% girls' schools, and only 2% boys' schools.
Girl Students as change agents:
Socially prescribed roles have limited women’s access to economic resources such as capital, skills, and marketing know-how. Social attitudes towards girls and women have been changing and they are doing better.
CLP is playing a vital role by establishing more CLC in girls’ schools for capacity building of girls.
The study found that of the girl students transmit computer knowledge towards other girls as well as boys, family members.
Guardians are aware about importance of ICT now and they are very eager to enrol their girls for the course
Parents are very proud to see certificate of completion.
Now they think that the CLP course will help their children’s study, they can work with computer, they can develop themselves.
Almost all guardians agreed strongly with the proposition that the students looked more confident, comfortable and enthusiastic in a computer environment as a result of spending time in the CLC.
They agreed to give permission if their child wants to stay at school after class or go to another place for learning computer.
The degree of familiarity for both the genders is similar (95%) for those who have already completed the course.
This is not the case for the students who are currently taking it. While 91% of the boys felt that they were either “familiar” or “very familiar”, only 62% of the girls felt the same way.
Basic computer training of CLP works for a long way in alleviating their "fear" of computers 89% and help prepare them for using this essential tool effectively in the work place.
Technology brings Confidence:
Girls were very enthusiastic for learning at school
The students were selected according to merit or personal interest not to sex
Respondents interested to take Computer course in their academic education after receiving this course
The respondents felt that hardware knowledge of the course helps in academic computer subject
Reduce Digital Divide:
CLP training helps to reduce digital divide by introducing computer and internet with girls.
In the rural areas, where CLC established CLC-equipped schools are the only venue of access to computers for the vast majority of students.
Poor and underprivileged students can receive training because the course are conducted in the school area and it is free for all.
Access to information:
The trained students came to know that ICT facilities can help them to get livelihood information.
They knew that they can apply for jobs by this communication.
They can choice their livelihood as their capacity.
They thought that it would help them in their professional work.
Overcome Social Barriers:
In 6.6% of the CLCs female teachers were taking class of girl students
In 45% of the CLCs teachers were taking class separately for girls and boys
In CLCs teachers took the class of girls before the academic class or in the Tiffin period or just after the academic class so that they can go home earlier
90% of the teachers were found very devoted and helpful to both genders
. CLP is promoting ICT knowledge and usage of computers among the underprivileged needy youths (equal gender) in Bangladesh.
. CLP develops facilities and awareness in mostly rural and disadvantaged areas for educating and training underprivileged youths on ICTs.
. It integrates local people into the programme through their participation in programme implementation process.
. CLP is working for creating enabling environment for ICT knowledge and gender.
Based on study findings, FGD and observations reports study came up with the following
• Rural ICT4D projects should be gender sensitive in all stage. In CLP development partner VAB-NJ require gender sensitization.
• Rural ICT4D projects should have specific activities to influence policy maker to be gender sensitive and consider gender as an issue during policy formulation.
Rural ICT4D projects should also have specific activities to empower through ICTs and conscious activity to make society aware about gender.
To ensure more girls participation in ICT sector we should create computer training opportunities for girls. VAB-NJ can play important role here by sensitizing sponsors to establish more CLCs in girl’s school. CLP team management also can raise local fund to establish CLCs in girl’s school.
GEM methodology basically works with qualitative data but some time it is hard to reach a conclusion with only qualitative data and it always deserves a GEM expert. To overcome this condition GEM may use a mixed data model.
The result of implementing this gender evaluation methodology shows that conscious efforts can make an ICT4D project gender sensitive and address gender gap in accessing ICTs for education.