We may find that in an African classroom only some girls have access to a device and the internet. We also know that girls are less likely to have access than their brothers, and that accessibility is greatly affected by a young woman or girl’s economic circumstances. 

Be aware that not all the girls you work with can access the internet

  • If you are encouraging young women and girls to access learning online, and you know that several don’t have access to the internet, can you encourage them to work in pairs with someone with a device? Can your youth club afford to pay for a couple of phones so those without one can use them in the youth club?
  • Focussing on using internet-based activities can reinforce social divides. It’s important not to embarrass or exclude young women without phones or data from your activities. 
  • Pay for data – When budgeting, you should consider ensuring that girls have access to Wi-Fi at your youth club. This doesn’t need to be on all the time, so it need not distract them. This could be used for them to study and learn online with you, or to download courses they can then use to study from home. 
  • Get a filter – if you are worried that girls in your youth club will use the internet unsafely, or waste data downloading movies rather than courses, get a filter. You can limit the sites they can access. 

You can read more about the gender digital divide here: WONDER Insight Report: Women (Dis)Connected

Reflection Questions

  1. Have you ever undertaken activities which have divided girls according to their financial situations? What were the consequences of this?
  2. How can you help girls with limited means access digital tools and opportunities?

Spread the love