In the connected world of 2012, where information is literally at our fingertips, it is easy to forget that millions of girls around the world still have limited or no access to education. Research has shown that the participation of women and girls in education and employment is critical to remaining competitive in the global economy. Yet in many developing countries around the world, the potential of women and girls represents an untapped resource. According to a Goldman Sachs report, unlocking the potential of women by narrowing the gender gap could lead to a 14 percent rise in per-capita incomes by 2020 in Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Korea.
As Asia Pacific continues to rise in significance in the global economy, countries across the region are being challenged to address the issue of gender imbalance. Policies are not only being evaluated as they work more closely with firms from liberal economies, but they are also seeing equality as a way of becoming more competitive.
This year, we have amplified our voice across the Asia Pacific region and around the world with the rallying cry “She Will!” This initiative is focused on developing programs with our partners to support women and girls. We’re not only raising awareness about this important issue, but we are helping them tackle their challenging circumstances, and providing them with new opportunities to enrich their future.
For over 40 years, Intel has been creating technologies that advance the way people live, work, and learn. We have learned through our long-standing commitment to driving education that girls who are able to access quality education have the potential to transform not just their own lives, but the lives of their families and their communities.
Through access to technology, scholarships and community learning programs, Intel is providing women and girls with opportunities for quality education and personal growth. Since 2004, the Intel Learn Program has provided opportunities for young learners in developing countries to gain key skills needed for tomorrow’s success, focusing on digital literacy, problem-solving and collaboration. The initiative has already reached more than 900,000 girls and young women in 18 countries around the world since its inception.
In line with our vision of using technology to catalyze social progress, this year, we are excited to be sponsoring the upcoming feature film “Girl Rising”, part of a global social campaign that seeks to educate and empower girls around the world. Together with our partners, we are focusing our programs on equipping women and girls with the knowledge they need to create measurable changes in their lives.
In celebration of the first International Day of the Girl in October, Intel signed a memorandum of understanding with Plan International Thailand Office to implement the Intel® Easy Steps program to equip girls and women with digital literacy skills in remote areas of the country. In the latter half of the year, we shared the inspirational stories of women and girls who have benefited from programs like Intel Easy Steps, Intel Teach and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair and are making a difference in their communities.
These programs have resulted in success stories like that of Sujatha Hegde, a social science teacher at Government Girls High School in Mangalore, India. Sujatha attended the Intel Teach Master Trainer Program, which provided the professional development that helps her teach students problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.
Turning this knowledge into action, Sujatha incorporated technology into various projects in her high school curriculum. Sujatha has become a leader in her community, with peers at all the schools in her district following her example and integrating technology into their learning programs. But she has not stopped there, Sujatha continues to learn and share new ways of using technology to broaden the scope of teachers and enable them with the tools to create more engaging learning experiences in their classrooms.
Sujatha’s story is a powerful reminder that with the right opportunities and support, women and girls have the potential to create changes in their own lives and, in turn, greatly impact those around them. Education and training initiatives are crucial to enabling women and girls with 21st century skills to enable them to participate in the modern economy.