Google has announced the launch of 18 new Womenwill chapters across Sub-Saharan Africa, including the first chapters to launch in South Africa. The announcements were made yesterday, to mark International Women’s Day.
Womenwill is a Google initiative to create economic opportunity for women everywhere, so that they can grow and succeed. Helping women make the most of technology to build skills, get inspired, and connect with each other through training, events and advocacy, Womenwill aims to drive conversations promoting gender equality to benefit everyone.
Google South Africa communications and public affairs head Mich Atagana said: “The gender gap could be solved if women have the same access to resources and skill acquisition sources as men. This is why we’re bringing the Womenwill chapters to South Africa and continuing our focus on diversity and gender equality into 2019 and beyond.”
The new chapters in South Africa are in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Polokwane and Pretoria. Following yesterday’s launch, there are now 25 chapters in Africa, with more to be announced in the coming weeks.
The chapters were launched simultaneously at events in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; and Lagos, Nigeria following a week in which Digital Skills Masterclasses were held at various locations in these countries, involving some 5000 women.
“Since 2016, we have worked to upskill young people and SMEs living in Africa via our Digital Skills for Africa program to help them find jobs and grow their businesses,” says Atagana. “Our digital skills training has been offered in 29 countries across Africa with over a million people recording business growth, starting new businesses, finding jobs or growing in their current jobs. We have trained more than 3 million people in total, of which 48% are women.
“Through Womenwill we hope to enable South African women to take better advantage of the opportunities that mobility and connectivity bring so that they can improve their lives and the lives of those in their communities.”