SheSkills launches tech bootcamps to empower women in Pakistan

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January 23, 2017
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SheSkills is launching digital skills bootcamps to empower women in Pakistan.

According to a study conducted by World Bank in 2014, Pakistan’s population is over 196 million and women make up 48% of that but the female labor force in Pakistan is less than 25%. There is a serious lack of bootcamps for women that teach skills like coding, digital marketing, designing and others. Only 14 percent of women labor force constitutes tech industry of Pakistan.

There are various options available for learning online but the classroom environment and mentorship lacks in such settings. Also, the coeducation of girls and boys is frowned upon in Pakistani society.

SheSkills Program

SheSkills has been designed by the collaboration of Ladies Learning Code, Women Techmakers and WECREATE Pakistan. Saad Hamid, a self-described digital evangelist and community mobilizer, is the driving force behind the idea of SheSkills bootcamps. He told Express Tribune,

“The concept of SheSkills came during a recent storytelling workshop which we conducted exclusively for women. At the end of it, we were overwhelmed with requests from girls who wanted to learn skills like coding, digital marketing, and design.”

This initiative will drive more women force into tech and empower women. This is a 6-week long program offering physical classes as well as online lectures. The females aged between 16 to 40 can learn things like web development, digital design, social media marketing, freelancing and how to use them. Saad adds,

“What we’re trying to do is teach them basic digital skills first and upskill later. The aim is to help them build businesses, either by developing their own products, or working on behalf of clients.

One of the things we wanted to do is help teach women how to put together a decent website within a couple of days without extensive coding experience. That’ll help them get freelancing contracts or start their own products,”

The second half of the course will teach participants how to use software like Canva and Photoshop. The cost of attending the bootcamp will be US$20 per week or US$120 overall. Each week will be taught by a different mentor – who will be paid so that standards are maintained. Women will be given options on what they want to learn.

Advisors of Program

The advisors of this program are some prominent names of Pakistan Tech Industry : President of P@SHA and NEST I/O Jehan Ara, CEO Invest2Innovate Kalsoom Lakhani, Interaction Designer at Google Saba Zaidi, Digital Rights Foundation Founder Nighat Dad, Code for Pakistan Founder Sheba Najmi, Founder Salma Jaffri Media, Founder Shift Balance Aurelie Salvaire and Founder GetReadyU Tracey Vickery.

Source: Express Tribune

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