June 24, 2009 SDF Women And Technology In Developing Nations

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On Wednesday June 24, 2009 in Menlo Park at Sun Microsystems the SDForum Tech Women’s Program presented “Women & Technology in Developing Nations”. Almaz Negash of Entwine Global moderated panelists Heather Fleming of Catapult Design, Heather Ramsey of Institute of International Education, Anu Saxena of Barefoot College, and Anabelle Pinto of Cisco Networking Academy. They discussed women using technology in Africa, China, Latin America and the Middle East.

Technology can dramatically improve the lives of women around the world. Access to education and the Internet is crucial for raising the status of women and fighting poverty that only leads to more fighting. The panelists showed how illiterate women can be trained to build sustainable technology and earn a living.

The barriers are large but not insurmountable. Around the world, women need access to technology and education. They must have the freedom to move about, to go to school, to marry later and have fewer children. A macro investment in micro lending can make the difference in the lives of billions of women and their families.

Yesterday on the Internet I saw a street demonstration busted up in Iran. A man pointed a gun at a woman. She pointed a cell phone at him. It said volumes about how women use technology. The real power was in her hands.

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