October 8th: Global G.L.O.W.
Welcome to Day 8!
This year’s theme of the International Day of the Girl, “Digital Generation, Our Generation” encourages all of us to examine the digital divide and its role in growing barriers to achieving a world where girls can succeed in their education, work and home lives. Internet access should not be a privilege, but a right for girls and women around the world.
The Digital Divide and Rural Communities
Today, we will discuss the digital divide as it relates specifically to location. Girls living in rural communities are often left further behind when it comes to accessing technology, due to the lack of proper internet infrastructure and reliable electricity. While the inception of broadband has made the internet faster and more reliable than dial-up, it has made the digital divide more pronounced in rural locations because of the costly nature of the systems and technology.
The result for girls and women is limited access to education, decision-making spaces, economic opportunities and important information on health and wellness. A lack of access to technology can also leave girls living in rural communities more vulnerable to gender-based violence, since they are unable to acquire information on the topic or reach out for support.
We have also heard from Global G.L.O.W. participants that a lack of access to technology prevents them from being able to connect with peers on social issues that matter to them via social media or direct communications.
At Global G.L.O.W., we partner with mission-aligned schools, community centers and NGOs that work directly with girls in 23 countries and across the United States. We’ve heard from our partners that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue for several reasons, including:
- In Kenya and India, families who experienced job loss as a result of the pandemic have relocated to remote areas where the cost of living is more affordable, but access to technology is limited. In order to reach girls, our partners from Milele Center in Kenya and SES in India have deployed mentors to travel to remote villages
- In Nigeria, a lack of access to technology has made it difficult for girls and women living in rural areas to receive vital information on COVID-19, including details on prevention. There, our partners from HAFAI have broadcast a radio show and included safety guidelines set by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO)
Lack of access to digital technology is not just an international issue. In the United States, one in five teens, ages 13 to 17, reported being unable to do their homework “often” or “sometimes” because of unreliable Internet access.
Join Our Instagram Live with Girl Activist Sharon
As part of our day 8 activities, we are excited to introduce Sharon, a member of the Global G.L.O.W. Girls Advocacy Representative Committee, and a club member from Art of a Child in Uganda. Sharon and her mentor Susan will go live on Instagram on October 8 at 10am EST to discuss the digital divide in remote communities and also provide actions we can all take to make a difference.
Follow Along on Social Media
All day long, we’ll be posting important information and engaging in conversation across each of our social media channels. We invite you to participate (and share!) using the hashtags #OctobHERglow and #11DaysofAction
Some Other Ways to Take Action
- Educate yourself: Learn about the digital divide, what causes it and its impact on girls and women around the world.
- Speak out: Use your respective platforms to create awareness for the digital divide in rural communities and the root causes of it. Demand large-scale cost-effective solutions that are suited for rural environments.
- Activism: We must push government and non-government organizations to address not only infrastructure issues, but also issues of poverty, relevance and public awareness that will make a considerable impact on girls’ and womens’ access to the internet. Find important resources for taking action HERE and HERE.
Don’t forget to use the hashtags:
#OctobHERglow #DigitalInclusion4Girls #IDG2021 #IDGxWGG #DayoftheGirl