Bridging the Digital Gender Divide to Enhance Women Empowerment and Leadership

February 12, 2021

Big Steps Outreach Network (BONET) in partnership with Women Environmental Programme (WEP) – Abuja, Nigeria organized the Digital skills for women empowerment and leadership training program within the context of the implementation of the Women2030 Project. This training program took place from the 20th – 23rd January 2021 at the BONET office Biyem Assi, Yaounde. It brought together 30 women from CSOs, the business world, and students from around Yaounde who acquired digital skills for empowerment and leadership. The training was attended and facilitated by well-trained facilitators and BONET staff.

The world is increasingly becoming digital but unfortunately, there exists a digital gender divide that limits the ability of women to use digital and online platforms. Most women in Cameroon still lack the digital skills needed to access digital and online platforms to make their voices heard and influence policy through online advocacy, mobilization, education, and online training on leadership and also to carry out businesses for economic empowerment. It is therefore paramount to train women in leadership positions such as leaders of feminist groups, CSOs, Women groups, Community groups, and students on the effective use of digital platforms.

The project entails the training of women who lead or are potential leaders of different CSOs, political parties or local groups on the use of digital tools and online platforms for women movements on gender equality and to empower women and girls (SDG goal 5). With an increasingly digitalized world, there is the need to bridge the gender digital divide and create possibilities for women to exploit digital platforms for their empowerment.

In this context, BONET in collaboration with WEP Nigeria, organized this training program to reinforce the digital capacities and skills of CSOs and women leaders, to boost their skills in leadership and business through the use of digital platforms, to increase women participation in the decision-making process through online platforms and to create awareness among more women on issues of gender equality and leadership through digital platforms. The first day of the training (Wednesday January 20th, 2021) was attended by CSO leaders and Policymakers and the modules addressed during this session included:

  • Practical guide  on the use of digital devices (Laptops, and smart phones) to access platforms such as Facebook, twitter, instagram, what Sapp, YouTube by Mr. Metombe Nathan
  • Practical guide on creating online forums and discussions, campaign ,mobilization and advocacy (online movement building) by Mme Sophie Ngassa (Digital Rights Activist)
  • Networking and online security for individuals and organizations by Mr. Metombe Nathan

The second day of the training (Thursday, January 21st, 2021) was attended by business people and entrepreneurs. Modules addressed during this session included:

  • A practical guide  on the use of digital devices (Laptops, and smartphones) to access platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, what Sapp, YouTube by Mr. Metombe Nathan
  • Online marketing/Networking for business by Mr. Dinga Apollinaries T.
  • Networking and online security for individuals and organizations by Mr. Metombe Nathan

The third day of the training (Friday 22nd, 2021) was attended by students and other women (general). Modules addressed during this session included:

  • Practical guide  on the use of digital devices (Laptops, and smart phones) to access platforms such as Facebook, twitter, instagram, what Sapp, YouTube by Mr. Metombe Nathan
  • E-learning and research by Dr Sakah Bernard N.
  • Networking and online security for individuals and organizations by Mr. Metombe Nathan

The final day of the training (Saturday January 23rd, 2021) was attended by all the groups and the following general modules were addressed.

  • Social media and corporate communication by Dr George Mugabe via video from Kighali, Rwanda.
  • Direct and Indirect communication by Dr. Sakah Bernard N.
  • Digital Security by Mme Noutcha Prudence (Social Activist, Digital Security Expert)
  • Digital Rights in Cameroon by Dr. Sakah Bernard N.

At the end of this training program, participants were awarded certificates of participation.

In conclusion, this training program equipped participants with digital skills that will boost their online presence for business, advocacy, campaigns, research, and education. In general, the four-day training program was a practical approach to bridging the digital gender divide that exists in Cameroon.

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