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Arab region making inroads for women in technology

07 September 2009

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A major partnership between key business and a technology firms aims to draw Arab women into technical fields and empower them to become future technology leaders. Programmes proposed under the initiative are introducing hundreds of girls and women to new ICT tools and stimulating innovation skills.

Monterry, Mexico: The Multinational Development of Women in Technology (MDWIT) and the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGO), together with global and Arab partners, met to sign a Memorandum of Understanding as a means to move forward on a formation strategy for the advancement of the Centre for Women and Technology for the Arab Region (CWTAR).

Image credits: Providing computer education to women in the Arab region/ AME info

The innovative program will bring together coalitions of women and technology organizations that focus on the recruitment, retention and advancement of girls and women into technical fields and technology leadership roles to better grow economic development in the region.

Central to the partnership is the development of a framework for a self-sustaining, well-functioning non-government organization (NGOs) developed and sustained by women and technology-serving organizations within the region that can address and respond to the local and national culture and context.

Women technical leaders

"Once fully developed, CWTAR will enable organizations to help more women and girls to prepare for careers and become leaders in technical fields, communicating information related to the richness and breadth of women lives, and foster the development and dissemination of research and publications concerning gender and technology," said Claudia Morrell, CEO of MDWIT.

"Empowering women with new tools and values will surely help them contribute to the competitiveness of our economies"

The CWTAR proposed has already moved the collaborative concept from strategy to execution through local leadership provided by UAE Higher Colleges of Technology`s Dubai Women`s College.

Through a new collaboration with Microsoft, the College hosted the first DigiGirlz program outside the United States to introduce over 200 girls to women technical role models and fun technology.

Overcoming challenges

Talal Abu-Ghazaleh, Founder and Chairman of TAG said, "It is time to consolidate efforts and better understand ICT development needs and take full advantage of ICT technologies and programs through cooperation and partnership frameworks that enhance educational outcomes and stimulate innovation."

"Women have always had important roles in educating our young children and developing our societies. Empowering them with new tools and values will surely help them contribute to the competitiveness of our economies and to building new generation which can fully understand the new challenges of the technological world of the Arab region."

TAGO, in partnership with the Higher Colleges of Technology Dubai Women`s College, is already providing leadership through the development of a web portal on a large scale for understanding the status of ICT in the Arab countries.

The Multinational Development of Women in Technology (MDWIT) was founded as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization in 2006 to accelerate growth in the global knowledge economy.

By combining women's latent potential with innovative ideas enabled through technology, all women, their families and communities prosper.

Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAGO) was founded in 1972 and now has become the leading Arab global group of professional service firms.

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Source : Reuters

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