Staff Reporter, Dhaka : Meta, formerly known as the Facebook company, has been working with partners in Bangladesh to support programs to empower women through economic and digital awareness.
On March 9, Meta and BRAC hosted an event “Empowering Women and Youth in Digital Spaces” to celebrate International Women’s Day and share the results of their partnership on a digital awareness program launched last year. Together, the partners are helping women become more familiar with the digital landscape and learn how to navigate it safely.
The event began with opening remarks from Nobonita Chowdhury, Director of Gender Justice and Diversity Program at BRAC, where she stressed the importance of digital access for all. She said, “We need to ensure equity in digital access, as the current difference between men and women in using advanced technology is quite high.”
So far, more than half a million BRAC program participants have learned about online safety, privacy tools and how to tackle misinformation; around 75 percent of the trainees are women. Nearly 10 million women and youth were reached through a social media campaign on safe and effective use of social media. The impact measurement shows that 98 percent of participants say they now know how to maintain a positive digital footprint compared to 62 percent before they started the training program.
Meta has taken a holistic approach to create opportunities for women in Bangladesh by helping them become more aware and responsible digital citizens and effectively use existing tools to build community online. This also helps women entrepreneurs build and grow their businesses.
“Bangladesh’s digital transformation has brought more women online and helped empower them. We hope to continue working with partners on the ground to support workshops on digital skills for online safety as well as financial freedom,” said Beth Ann Lim, Meta’s Policy Programs Director for the Asia Pacific region. “We know many women still shoulder a disproportionate amount of responsibilities at home. Online platforms can play a big role in bringing markets to their doorsteps.”
Last year, Meta launched its SheMeansBusiness program in Bangladesh in partnership with the ICT Division’s Aspire to Innovate (a2i) program, Bangladesh Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and LightCastle Partners to empower more than 10,000 women across Bangladesh by facilitating deeper connections with their customers online to boost their businesses. It provides small business owners the skills and connections required to excel using digital tools and platforms.
To know more about Meta’s #SheMeansBusiness program, visit https://shemeansbusiness.fb.com/. Learn how to navigate the digital space safely here: https://wethinkdigital.fb.com/bd/bd-bd/
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