The social roles of women in Ghana have varied throughout history. The overall impact of women in Ghanaian society has been significant and is continuing to change in the modern day.
Research has proven women are 14% less likely than men to own a mobile phone. Moreover, 25% fewer women and girls are online compared to men. In Africa, the gap is widening, with over 40% of women not able to effectively engage ICT tools for personal and professional activities.
It is therefore important for women to involve themselves in the technology field.
Technology can be a tool and a relevant skill to help empower women and girls with critical thinking skills and economic independence.
On April 16, Tech Needs Girls created by Soronko Solutions, had their first #stylewithcode coding workshop where innovation met creativity. Tech Needs Girls is a movement and a mentorship program to get more girls to create technology.
Their mission is mentoring girls to lead and innovate through learning to code. They have impacted over 2500 girls in 7 regions in Ghana through mentorship, teaching them to code and internships at software companies. They also have a large network of over 150 mentors who are women studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in the university.
This was their biggest and most exciting workshop. The program was organized and held at Impact Hub Accra with support from VLISCO, American Chamber of Commerce, Tigo and Reach for Change.
There were 70 mentees, 25 mentors, SAP executive’s team members and invited guest. The girls were split into teams of 5 with two mentors and one SAP Executive in each group. The girls worked on innovative ideas of using technology to solve counterfeiting of VLISCO fabrics.
They also learnt to code and build HTML pages. The event recorded a full house of about 100 participants. They got to be inspired by their amazing mentors and the SAP Executive team.
The girls displayed their creativity and presentation skills by pitching their ideas and explaining their HTML Code. The girls all got certificates and the winning group won VLISCO fabrics.
The winning group of girls wanted to use RFID chips, GPS and Barcode scanning to solve the problem of counterfeiting. The mentors from the winning group also won Vlisco Fabric.
Founder of Soronko Solutions and Vlisco Ambassador, Regina Honu said, “It is so powerful when women and girls get together to support each other. The girls had no idea who a software developer was or what coding is. But by the end of the workshop, they all left as new coders. The Tech Needs Girls movement continues.”
She concluded by adding that, next year the first all-girls coding and human centred design school will be built for girls in West Africa.