Windows of Opportunity
"Empowering women and girls with more choices and more freedoms is crucial to achieving a better future for all." -Amartya Sen, Nobel laureate and a founder of UNDP’s Human Development Index
Remember the first time you used a computer or connected to the internet through a DSL (mum screaming because you disconnected her call)? Those skills are second-nature everyday actions and we can do them without even thinking. But imagine if you'd never used a computer before, never held a mouse, never typed on a keyboard. Would you know how to use a computer? Something as simple as ‘using a mouse’ can be a daunting task for someone who had the chance to do so.
Prior to coming to TYO, some of the women in The Women's Group IT classes had never used a computer before in their lives. They didn’t even know how to turn one on, let alone use one. Computers have become such an important part of our lives—in airports, banks, railway stations and most offices. It is one of the most used pieces of technology in our society today and it has changed the way we interact with one another. Therefore, it's vital for TYO's participants to know computer basics as these women will in turn, help their own children and families.
So far, seeing the progress they've made in IT class these past five weeks is incredible. They come to class early every lesson, turn on the computer, and start practicing their typing, creating formulas in Excel and of course, surfing the web. And their hunger to keep learning keeps me motivated as a teacher and makes class time a joy.
Promoting gender equality and empowering women is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and with TYO's Women's Empowerment Programs, we strive to give women the tools to be change-makers in Nablus. If a woman can use a computer, she can share this knowledge with her children and feel empowered. With appropriate computer usage and quality of life applications, society can undergo a transformation and a more intellectually aware society will emerge.
Danish is an intern at TYO Nablus.