The Code To Change 2016 (kickoff for the mentoring program) was back with a bang this November! The speaker line-up fr the second edition was even more amazing than last year! Over 20 Tech leaders and emerging leaders from across the industry shared their stories and journey into the IT sector. The topics included security, big data, high performance computing, design, sharing economy, art and tech, Artificial Intelligence, social media, digital marketing.
The talks inspired our participants (and graduates Code Newbies from the Code To Change bootcamp) to pursue their dreams and learn new digital skills in order to join the technology sector.
Please take a look at the Conference description here.
For conference programme details, see here.
To catch a glimpse of the excitement at the kickoff, take a look at our short video of The Code To Change bootcamp
Watch highlights from the Code To Change conference 2016 here!
Plugging The Digital Skills Gap: Investing in potential
Excited to share that I was invited by the Euroforum folks to give the closing keynote at the Ada Lovelace Festival in Berlin, Germany this October. The festival is an annual event which celebrates contribution of women to the emergence of the digital age. Among them was Ada Byron Countess of Lovelace (1815–1852), a mathematician now considered a software pioneer, after whom this event is named. In the mid-19th century, she developed a program for Charles Babbage’s “Analytical Engine”, a forerunner of the modern computer which was sadly never completed.
The keynote highlighted the importance of investing in potential to plug the digital skills gap through The Code To Change program.
I am happy to share that we presented the results of our ‘Work To Equality‘ campaign at the World Summit on the Information Society- WSIS 2015 in May in Geneva, Switzerland.
The session looked at different experiences of organizations that are working for gender equality, both internally and externally in their organizations. With these different visions and programs, we will have a better insight about what can be done to achieve #WorktoEquality. This workshop generated a debate to raise awareness and to collect possible suggestions and solutions for addressing the issue.
The panelists included Mine Ogura, head of Work To Equality campaign, Monique Morrow-Cisco, Cheryl Miller-Verizon, Catherine Mesot-Catalyst. Remote panelists included Rifat Arif- Young Digital Leaders, Hanna Luden- consultant and Miriam Tocino- Amsterdam Women in Technology and I had the honour to chair the workshop.
Details of the workshop can be seen here and recording can be viewed here.
At IGF 2014, Istanbul Turkey
I had the pleasure to share my story of digital empowerment at the UN’s Internet Governance Forum 2014. The Internet Governance Forum (IGF) took place in Istanbul, Turkey from 2 to 5 September. This UN-initiated body is a multi-stakeholder, non-decision making forum of global importance for forward-looking discussions on Internet issues.
I had the opportunity to present my women empowerment initiative ChunriChoupaal at the flash session. This session was chaired by Leana Mayzlina of World Pulse. I highlighted the issues faced by girls and women to access trainings related to the use of modern information and communication technology and how my women-only center was sensitizing women and girls and exposing them to new horizons of social and economic empowerment.
I am happy to share that I presented the perspective of grassroots level women leaders from World Pulse community of 60,000, at WSIS+10 High Level Event this month. The interventions emphasised on the need for inclusion of more women in the global information society to accelerate their social and economic situation, especially in the developing countries. This current ‘gender’ digital divide calls for more advocacy efforts to enable women’s access to technology, capacity building opportunities and hence, inclusion in global work force. The success of the interventions can be seen via the following statement which was included in the outcome document following our recommendations to the event: Continue reading
A few years ago, I moved to Amsterdam. Amsterdam is home to a hundred and seventy eight nationalities; the ethnic makeup of Amsterdam being 49.5% of Dutch ancestry and 50.5% of foreign origin. I am originally an activist specialized in women and youth empowerment projects. Due to my background in projects to improve female digital literacy in Pakistan, I mostly thought of the lack of resources and opportunities in the developing world. It was after I moved to Europe, that I got the opportunity to observe the digital literacy situation in a cosmopolitan city like Amsterdam.
I started working with women groups, networks and organisations in Amsterdam, working with different nationalities, ethnicities and backgrounds. During my interaction with these groups, I discovered that digital empowerment, especially for women, was needed here too!
Digital illiteracy has two levels; Continue reading
During one of my visits to Pakistan, while on a visit to remote areas in the Thal desert of Pakistan, my life took a very interesting turn.
I was documenting the demonstration of student nurses and taking photographs of the chador-clad women sitting in the middle of the road, a rare sight in a remote city like Layyah. Some days later, a few young ladies came to visit me. One of them was Rashda, a fresh graduate from the local college. She had been interviewed for a job at a local relief organisation. The organisation needed female staff for helping out with their female beneficiaries. The only problem was that they needed someone with computer and internet skills. Rashda asked me if I could teach her how to use the computer for data entry in a day. Continue reading
Indian celebrity Madhuri Dixit tweeted to her fans about her new iphone App. The app is
available at Apple’s iTunes store now.Currently, a quick google search about Indian Celebrity apps does not show many results which could mean she is one of the first Indian celebrities to have an official app designed for connecting with her fans. The actress who has been active on Twitter for two years now, tweeted that the Android version will be out soon too. Continue reading
Have you heard of the Coursera/Udacity and related online courses which are offered by the world class universites of the world for free? Have you signed up for a course yet?I was curious enough to register for programming course and I was pleasantly surprised. Free education is not always associated automatically with quality. I was curious enough to sign up for a programming course. Continue reading