The "She Will Connect" program integrates "Internet access with gender and development programming" and aims to expand the digital literacy skills of young women in the developing world.
Following on the findings of January's Women and the Web report, Intel has launched the "She Will Connect" initiative which aims to reduce the global gender and technology gap and will be initially launched in Africa with the target of reaching 5 million women and reducing the gender gap by 50 percent.
Intel aims to achieve its goals by working with a "diverse range of partners" including governments, global and local NGOs and through an innovative and scalable new platform that features an Online Gaming Platform and a Peer Network to push the concept of digital literacy forward.
The former delivers content through "an interactive, engaging approach for smartphones and tablets in a game-infused environment" that allows learning to take place in a mediated environment, both individually across devices and in the context of a wider peer network. The Peer network also incorporates World Pulse's digital empowerment platform that integrates training into existing digital literacy programs and connects women to "a safe and supportive peer network" that offers a free exchange of ideas, support and mentorship.
"The Internet has transformed the lives of billions of people," said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. "It functions as a gateway to ideas, resources and opportunities that never could have been realized before, but our research shows that girls and women are being left behind. We believe that closing the Internet gender gap has tremendous potential to empower women and enrich their lives as well as all the lives they touch."
At this juncture, it is worth noting that the "She Will Connect" initiative is part of a broader commitment educating women in developing countries which has included a 2013 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action, an "Easy Steps Digital Literacy" training program that aims to reach 1 million women in India and patterning with several governments and organizations in Latin America to provide training with a special focus on fostering entrepreneurial skills.