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Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Facebook launches We Think Digital for women in Uttar Pradesh

  • The program aims to train 100,000 women across seven Indian states including West Bengal, Assam, Gujarat
  • We Think Digital is Facebook’s global digital literacy program launched in 2019

Mumbai: Uttar Pradesh has become the first state where Facebook Inc, in partnership with National Commission for Women (NCW) and Cyber Peace Foundation, has launched its ‘We Think Digital’ program to provide digital literacy to women. The program aims to train 100,000 women across seven Indian states including Uttar Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand and Bihar.

With rapid growth of digital services market in the country, tech companies have been investing to educate people at the grassroots level through a number of outreach programs. We Think Digital, Facebook’s global digital literacy program announced in 2019, aims to overcome the gender imbalance on the internet.

“The internet has become a driver for change in the current age. These training modules will open doors of equal opportunities for women of Uttar Pradesh and together with Facebook we want to equip and educate people and help make a positive impact," said Jai Pratap Singh, minister of women, family and child welfare, government of Uttar Pradesh.

Google and Microsoft Corporation already have similar digital literacy programs targeted at rural women. Google India's 'Internet Saathi' program, which aims to empower rural women on how to use the internet, now covers 2.6 lakh villages across 20 states. 'Internet Sathi' was launched as a pilot project in 2015 along with Tata Trust.

Women who are trained under such programs in turn educate other women in their community and neighbouring villages. Microsoft also has the YouthSpark program to develop digital skills of unemployed youth and marginalised women. Separately, it also has a program for improving skills of weavers in eastern and northeastern states.

"We are focusing on trying to create digital leadership amongst women and help them use technology for empowering themselves, enable them to make smart choices and secure from online risks. The training looks at transforming the learning process and bring about systemic change," said Rekha Sharma, chairperson, NCW.

Facebook's training program has been designed to address issues around privacy, misinformation and safety. The launch program was attended by 300 women trainees from across Uttar Pradesh, and had workshops by NCW and Cyber Peace Foundation.

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