"Use of technology for social impact presents yet another power struggle, if women are not active players and shapers of the new opportunities arising" –Making All Voices Count Programme Officer Hyshyama Hamin.
Today, access to technology and the ability to navigate digital tools, is key to participation and expression in “civic” space. As important conversations increasingly occur online about the role of tech in solving social and governance challenges, it’s important that women’s experiences are accounted for and engaged with.
This November AkiraChix, a non-profit which aims to inspire and develop a successful force of women in technology, will host its first Women in Technology Conference in Nairobi, Kenya. Making All Voices Count, in conjunction with AkiraChix, has launched a competition which will bring unconventional voices and ideas to the conference. Hyshyama explains:
The tech field is far from gender-balanced and so too are conversations about the use of tech in solving social problems. This event aims at having women’s voices, experiences and narratives in the conversation and to explore their ideas in addressing issues that affect them and their communities too.
The #IncYOUbateIT competition is open for entries until October 20 and is aimed at sourcing ideas on themes related to the mission of making all voices count. They are:
(1) “Our spaces. Our rights” – Securing women’s online spaces: For ideas that aim at addressing address protection issues that women face such as harassment, sexism and violence and reduce barriers for women and girls to participate in various forums online.
(2) “Tech for Change” – Tech to address community/society/country governance issues: For ideas that address problems faced by women and girls in the community, society and/or country and potentially influences governance structures, policy or legislation.
The competition is open to applications from Kenya with ideas, either proven or to be developed, to promote themes of gender equality.
Applicants are invited to submit online and promising initiatives will attend the conference on November 1, in order to share their initiative and receive feedback.
Having absorbed feedback, honed their ideas and attending a number of breakout sessions, finalists will be invited to “pitch” their idea to a panel of judges on November 8. At the end of the day the winner, or winners will be announced.
Winners will receive incubation support from Making All Voices Count, along with mentorship and use of the South to South lab working space and networking opportunities. South to South Lab Manager Declan Ottaro says:
Incubation is a process by which an idea is strengthened and developed over a period of time through mentoring, conceptual and technical support and resources. The incubation period can take up to six months and the winner will get access to self-help tools, and where applicable mentoring.
For more information or to submit ideas see here.
- Monday, September 29, 2014: Competition open for applications
- Monday, October 20, 2014: Competition deadline for applications
- Friday, October 24, 2014: Finalists announced
- Saturday, November 1, 2014: Conference day
- Friday, November 7, 2014: Pitching competition day