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Empowering girls and women through technology and making them financial empower through mobile internet

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Women in Digital is an all-star team of female technologists dedicated to bringing more Bangladeshi women into the digital economy. Empowering women with the training and job connections they need to cash in on the digital age.


Start with their success, Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNT1XbHyqb0&t=30s


Women in Digital (WID) is dedicated to promoting women's and girls’ education and empowerment through technology. Established in 2013, WID aims to create digital platforms to support, promote, and empower women and girls in areas of information and technology. Women in Digital is concerned about the existing digital and gender divide within the IT sector and thus is focused to unpack these challenges and offer practical solutions along with advocating for inclusive and empowering policy provisions. Since its establishment, it has trained and empowered more than 7868 adolescent girls and women all over Bangladesh. Women in Digital are not only working towards the digital literacy of women and girls but also offering market-relevant IT skills including online business development, offering digital marketing space to profile products, development of the app, reaching to targeted online customers, and raising individual profiles with special focus to women and girls. In addition, we are working towards digital-economic inclusion and the empowerment of women and girls. We are proud to share that ‘Women in Digital’ is the only women-led, women and girls’ focused organization within the IT sector in Bangladesh. Thousands of women and girls that we have trained have not only started jobs, do online business but also significantly changed deep-rooted social and gender norms in Bangladesh. A combination of IT, financial inclusion, gender, and empowerment aspects makes us unique as we aspire to see women's and girls’ leadership and economic independence in a more sustained way which will have an inter-generational impact. We also express our global solidarity on the same.


From 2013 to 2020 we have reached all 64 districts in Bangladesh. We have trained 8590 women in all over Bangladesh and 7060 are successfully contributing to our GDP.  We have developed our own curriculum and based on student capacity assessment we provided them the courses. We trained our girls totally free of cost, after their graduation from our center we provided them a job and connected them with the job market. 


Testimonial From State Minister for  Ministry of Post. Telecommunication & IT Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh: http://womenindigital.net/project/testimonial/2


Our Mission


Women in Digital aims to support, develop, recognize and promote achievements of women in ICT. WID ‘s mission is to empower women in Digital Platform to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and monetary prosperity. Successfully cultivate mutually beneficial networks between industry, academia and government with a focus on women working in the technology industries across the country and the world.


WID has focused on the following things,



  1.  Digital Agency (LuminaDev) : 



Lumina Digital is a female-led agency, proudly operating out of Bangladesh. It was founded in 2013 by Achia Nila, an internationally recognized technology leader who also serves as an International IT Expert and the Country Director for Women who Code. Nila founded Lumina Dev alongside Women in Digital, a training center empowering women in Bangladesh with advanced technology skills. Many of the engineers at Lumina are the top-performing graduates from that program. 35 women engineers work together, They are developing IT products for international Clients like, software, Mobile applications, Games and graphic work. We mostly work for Australia, Japan, and the USA market. 


We mostly provided service to the clients, besides that we have our own product line.


Our website for Digital Agency: www.luminadev.com 



  1. Tech School: Empowering women with the training and job connections they need to cash in on the digital age. We have both physical institutes and an online school. The physical Tech schools are in different areas of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Ramgonj, Lakshmipur, Kurigram and Mymensingh which will run like permanent institutes. WiD have an online platform named mashtor.com



Mashtor.com is a global marketplace where learners and tutors connect. Through its intuitive and integrated online classroom, tutors are able to cultivate the internal motivation and potential of learners, and thus help them achieve their goals. It's a place where the connection is made instantly, knowledge is shared and acquired in real-time, and community is created while breaking geographical boundaries.


Website: www.mashtor.com


Some highlight of our school,


Women in Digital Mymensingh


Led by Nahid Binte Anis, A non-tech limited educated girl who has changed her life through technology and earned through tech. We have met with her in our workshop and selected her as our community leader. We have provided her mentoring and training support. Initially, she started outsourcing work through us; now we have set up an office in her village. She trained other underprivileged girls and women like her. Now we have 15 girl's and women tech teams at Mymensingh and they are working in the international market. Some of the girls have come to our office but most of them are working from home and we have provided laptops from our office.


Women in Digital Jamalpur


According to their local people capacity we have designed their different projects. This community is very good in hand stitching work. So we promote our e-commerce project. 


Women in Digital Ramgonj


We have designed our project based on geographical assessments. In this area we get two types of people one group is underprivileged and another group is privileged. As we run a social enterprise so for the privileged people we have offered paid courses and underprivileged people we have offered vocational courses. So that both people are benefited from us according to their needs. Of course, our model is learning for earning here as we are living in a developing country.  


Women in Digital Nepal 


Women In Digital Nepal is an initiative of a Social Enterprise that has created programmers to help women advance by providing access to Digital Platform. http://widnepal.org



  1. Women in E-commerce: Empowering rural women with the e-commerce market place to promote their handmade product. So, Rural Women can earn immediately. Women In E-commerce with this we are completely focusing on rural women. Here we create an international market for their handicraft products through our social media and website. The entire teams from craftswomen, photographers to digital coders are women.



Women in E-commerce has been Empowering Women With the Latest Tools, Resources & Skills to Do more business using the Web (Internet) to promote their business via Social Media, Internet Marketing, Affiliate Marketing, Search Engine Optimization, Mobile Marketing, Training and More! We have an online market place for all small businesswomen. At the COVID 19 pandemic, we have supported through our online marketplace.


Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/352632694938551


Website: https://womenine-commerce.com



  1. Women in CyberSecurity (WiCyS) is the premier organization with a national reach dedicated to bringing together women in cybersecurity from academia, research and industry to share knowledge, experience, networking and mentoring.  Partnership with British Council we have trained Bangladeshi girls in cyberSecurity and at the same time in partnership with the ICT Division, we have run a cyber awareness campaign all over Bangladesh.




  1. First online job portal for women (established in 2014):  Women in Digital partners with local and international organizations to provide access to flexible employment opportunities for graduating students. 



WID Career center is a perfect online recruiting hub for women. Tailored to the needs of today's working women, WID Career center provides easy access to top employers and recruiters who are actively looking to recruit & hire women. WID Career center can also help thousands of women to find jobs in their chosen career. It’s a job portal for women.


At the same time we sell some books in our job portal based on student requests.


Link: http://womenindigital.net/wid-tech-school/views/jobPortal/



  1. Online Job marketplace for women



WiD online marketplace is a global online employment solution for women seeking jobs and the employers who need great people. We've been doing this for more than 2 years, and have expanded from our roots as a "job board" to a global provider of a full array of job seeking, career management, recruitment and talent management products, and services.


At the heart of our success and our future is innovation: We are changing the way women think about work, and we're helping them actively improve their lives and their workforce performance with new technology, tools, and practices.


At WiD online marketplace, we work to bring humanity and opportunity to the job market, to enhance lives, businesses, and communities around the world.


Weblink: http://job.womenindigital.net/



  1. Competition for women to make them confident in the tech field: Women In Digital arranged different types of competition for inspiring women in product development and growing their confidence in the technology. Every year we will arrange a 



“Digital Innovation Challenge for Women”


The sole purpose of the “Digital Innovation Challenge for Women 2016” is to create an interest in technology among the women in Bangladesh. We have arranged this type of competition for the first time in Bangladesh to encourage women to come into the tech world and motivate them for the future. A total of 248 women participated from all over Bangladesh, representing 49 different projects. The event lasted one and half months – it started on January 28th, 2016 and finished on March 8th, 2016,  on International Women’s Day.


During the initial phase, 32 teams among the 49 teams had been pre-selected. The first presentation for these teams was held on 20th February. The teams were assigned with different local mentors for proper supervision in order to develop their ideas into a working prototype with a full proof business plan. The ideas included solving issues in fields like medical, security, traffic education, etc. Later, 21 teams were shortlisted for the second phase and their presentation was held on  February 27th. Finally, 13 of the teams continued into the finals and all of them had their presentation done on 5th March. On the final day of the event,  March 8th, the top three teams were awarded. But every participant facilitated the event.


Through this initiative, the organizers are hopeful to create a new bunch of female leaders and entrepreneurs with skills that are necessary for the girls to pitch their own business ideas in the future: create teams and also develop any solution from scratch which covers everything from planning to execution of the solution in terms of technological development, business development and marketing and sales. The organizers also hope to increase the morale and confidence among the participants to tackle any problems in society through technological means.


Every year we have arranged it with different partners like Microsoft, EMK Center and others for making some good women lead startUp.  More Details. 


"National Hackathon for Women”


The 1st ever “National Hackathon for Women” in South Asia organized by Women In Digital in collaboration with the Information and Communication Technology Division (ICTD). 1500 girls and women applied for this program, around 523 tech enthusiasts women across the country took part in the 36-hour non-stop event and tried to make progressive and unique inventions for giving technology-based solutions to nine selected problems. More Details



  1. Kid Education program: A learning mobile application for kids developed by all women engineers from lumina dev. It is a complete child-centered, interactive audio/visual learning package for free!



Children can also use their creativity and explore their imagination via drawing and coloring. They can play games and have fun. They can improve their mathematical problem-solving skills. It is also useful for all Bangla speakers and Non- speakers of all ages who want to learn and write Bangla letters, numbers and words.


Pathshala : Bangla and English Alphabet, Number, Colors, Game, Shapes, Bangladesh information, famous people of Bangladesh


Link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=patshala.digital.women&hl=en



  1. A project for Mothers: The only social media app for sharing recipes of different types of cuisines, from all around the world.



FEATURES:


• Get step-by-step instructions how to make your preferred dish and to see the pictures of the dish you want to create.


• Watch the videos from cooks to get a better idea of how to make the dish.


• Search for your favorite cooks around the world, to get their delicious recipes to make an exact replica of their food art. You can also search recipes by name, ingredients, cuisine and origin.


• Like the recipes to save them for later. Follow your fellow cooks to get their new recipes on your feed. You can even comment on the cook’s page if you like.


• If you, yourself, are a good cook then don’t feel shy, and post your own recipes and pictures of your dish on the app.


• Vegan food? No problem, you can filter by what matters to you like vegan, gluten-free, low crab etc.


• On the app, everyone’s account will be public. Hence everyone can see everyone else's recipes of tasty food.


Link:https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.womenindigital.user.momrecipes&hl=en&showAllReviews=true



  1. Get involved with social issues:



    1. Ensuring finfancial empowerment for Child Marriage victim through Technology: 




According to the UNICEF report, Bangladesh has the highest number of girls married off before 15. Over 700 million girls worldwide were victims of child marriage and one in every three of them were married off before 15. In Kurigram, 78% of girls under 18 were married. According to current statistics, Kurigram has been identified as the 3rd city in the world for child marriage.


According to the UNICEF report, Bangladesh has the highest number of girls married off before 15. Over 700 million girls worldwide were victims of child marriage and one in every three of them were married off before 15. In Kurigram, 78% of girls under 18 were married. According to current statistics, Kurigram has been identified as the 3rd city in the world for child marriage.


To address this challenge, in 2018 Women in Digital supported by CARE and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to examine how to support married adolescent girls in the Kurigram district of Rangpur division in Bangladesh. The project aimed to work with 200 girls of Punchgacchi and Belgachha unions under Kurigram Sadar Upazila in Kurigram district.


To reduce child marriage and to empower the girls’ Women in Digital conducted ICT training program. The project aims to build the capability of girls in IT skills and job placement: Basic Computing, Graphics Design, Web Developing, Digital Marketing and E-Commerce. Along with the courses, English and Soft Skill courses are mandatory for all the 200 girls.


In the 3-month training program, 200 girls are trained in 5 courses so that they can build their own self-reliance. In the training program we trained 200 girls in those 5 courses. 20 girls are trained in each course.


After successfully completing the training program some students feedback are-” After my marriage, I was in a fix that what should I do other than household chores to support my family financially. WID illuminated me with the lights of computer education. With the help of WID, Now I hope and dream to jump over any hurdles of life and become financially independent as well as solvent.”


-Archana Rani from Digital marketing course


”After the E-commerce training course I will not sit idly, now I can do something for my betterment”. -Konika Rani, Student of E-commerce Course


To make their training success, we have provided 200 laptops to all the girls who are undergoing training. This initiative has been taken so that they can apply this training in real life.


After the training, they change their lifestyle. Some of the girls are now, doing a great job. Some of them have become a trainer, some of them become a graphics designer. Some are freelancers and some run their own business.



    1. Empowering transgender through technology:



Trained 120 transgender to the  mobile money transfer technology now they are running their own small business and they own money transferring shop. Some of them start outsourcing by using mobile internet. We have given them e-commerce data entry training too.



    1. Empowering sex worker  through technology



Trained 100 sex worker to the  mobile servicing technology now they are running their own small business and they own a mobile service center.


As our main motto is Empowering women through technology so we are trying to give them an alternative income source. For example, we are giving training on ICT, e-commerce, mobile servicing, mobile money transfer. When they receive this type of training then they have changed their income source. This is the way we are protecting them.



  1. Online support “NLP for Women Empowerment” (COVID - 19 Financial Health Support): 



We have taken this initiative for COVID 19 pandemic. This initiative is empowering for all women that are committed to building a successful career or looking to excel in their current role. This initiative has been specifically designed based on my 20 years’ experience of working in male-dominated environments together with NLP techniques.


We have taken this initiative for COVID 19 pandemic. People are in a Lockdown situation and they are getting frustrated. Many people are losing their job and lost their determination. For keeping a stable mind we have taken the initiative. An NLP expert will be taken different sessions through our platform. It will be a common session for all at a very reasonable price. We will also arrange one to one sessions based on public demand.


The Women Empowerment program contains powerful methods and techniques that enable women to leverage their natural traits and styles, find their voice and build their competence and confidence to create a well-structured path to excellence and self-mastery.


The program is interactive, experiential and flexible to allow you to achieve the goals that are important to you personally. You can expect to learn skills and thinking that will enhance the way that you manage yourself as well as others, the way you communicate, influence, negotiate, manage change and throughout all of this the way that you coach yourself and others. Expect to have some fun too.


Outcome:


1. Appreciate the issues facing women in careers and how to deal with them


2. Better understand yourself and identify your strengths and talents


3. Understand your thinking patterns and create more empowering ones to increase your influence and performance


4. Develop and use persuasive communication patterns


5. Know What You Want to Achieve (and What Success Looks Like)


6. Develop Acuity (paying attention to how people respond to you)


7. Gain Flexibility (If you are not getting what you want, how to flex your style and approach to get the result you want and need)


8. Remove any limiting beliefs that are holding you back



  1. Awareness Campaign and Workshop



We have visited 46 government universities in all over the bangladesh and 62 private universities with our one campaign “Empowerment Through Technology” and at the same time we did some technical workshops in each university. We have covered 108 universities in Bangladesh. 



  1. Financial literacy for Women



Low literacy rates dramatically impact the lives of women, demanding they work harder, take more time to pay debts and, sometimes settle for earning less.


The U.S. Department of Education reports that 3.8 million American adult women possess literacy skills below a “basic” level. The basic level refers to reading, writing and math skills at a third-grade level. This lack of education makes it difficult to understand bank statements, credit card agreements and other financial documents.


An American College of Financial Services literacy study of men and women between 60 and 75 found:



  1. Thirty-five percent of men passed a quiz on retirement income literacy. Eighteen percent of women passed the same test




  2. Those who passed were more likely to have a retirement plan, as well as a plan to cover the costs of long-term care.



Women lacking competency in financial literacy face serious repercussions, such as taking on large amounts of credit card debt, defaulting on student loans, and experiencing difficulty managing income, taxes and investments.


Managing money in the midst of life’s other priorities is no easy task. Women of all ages and backgrounds struggle with the pressure to earn enough, access education, care for a family and plan retirement.


Taking the initiative to educate women about complex financial decisions will help them achieve their next major milestone. Every informed financial decision women make gets closer to that goal.


For women entrepreneurs, we have provided free accounting software for their regular business. 


In each and every way we want to implement technology and the internet to make their life easy



  1. Women in Digital Helps Women through Career Counseling ( Pathfinder), Knowledge Repository, IT Product Development, E-commerce, Training and Workshop, Urban & Rural Reach, Mentoring Support, Competition for women, Women entrepreneurship development, SheForHe program for man technological empowerment for balancing gender equality.



Global Representations: Women in Digital represent more than 20 countries. We have received all the invitations from Government agencies and different International organizations.


Link: http://womenindigital.net/project/testimonial/4

State your goals

Our Goal:

Creating a voice for women in ICT by partnering with industry leaders in Information and Communications Technology to drive the gender diversity agenda in Bangladesh

  • Women empowerment through technology also make them financial empower through ICT
  • Provide a platform of connections, resources and opportunities in Information Technology
  • Earning and earning scope through Technology  
  • Create a pipeline of women to fill leadership positions in Digital World
  • Demonstrate that advancing women in Digital Platform
  • Influence top leaders in government, academia and industry to recognize the power of women in IT and telecommunication industry.
  • Encourage girls and young women to choose careers in technology.
  • Developed some IT product(software, we app , mobile app and game) that can help human life 
  • Developed a roadmap to rural area to urban area and international market in e-commerce sector 
  • Now we are working on Bangladesh, Nepal and want to reaching the south Asia (India, Pakistan,  SriLanka, Bhutan, Afghanistan etc) and the globally 
  • Finally, our goal is to enable each and every woman to become independent thinkers and be able to reflect that in their daily lives and be capable to earn money and self-dependency through using internet and mobile data.

What problems (particularly in value chain competitiveness and global disruption) are your community’s stakeholders facing due to the Covid-19 pandemic?

Poor families across Bangladesh are being hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, as many parents are losing their jobs. The pandemic continues to spread in a country where even washing hands to avoid contamination is a luxury and food is already scarce. 

Only 15% of Bangladeshi workers earn more than $6 a day. The economic shutdown sparked by COVID-19 threatens millions of livelihoods in the country imminently.

But there are reasons for optimism, too. 

On March 26th, when the government called for a country-wide lockdown, 10 million rickshaw drivers, day laborers, factory workers, maids and others raced to get home.  The resilience of this country is seen in the eerily empty and quiet Dhaka streets, never before seen. 

Governments the world over are struggling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. Like other countries, Bangladesh is completely lockdown. The government of the country lockdown many industries, garments, restricted people gathering and traveling. For that reason, many of the women workers are unemployed at this time and who manage to do work from home have to do unpaid care work. Women typically shoulder a greater burden of care. Some women who are freelancers or from ICT sector are less affected, due to existing capabilities to reach out to the global market straight through the internet. On average women did three times as much unpaid care work as men at home even before COVID-19. Now, formal sector female employees with children are balancing one or more of the following: work (if they still have it), childcare, homeschooling, elder care, and housework. Female-headed households are particularly vulnerable. 

To help the underprivileged communities, Women in Digital, a tech social venture, has been providing food since the country went into isolation through their initiative ‘Food for All’. They have served 1347 families up until now. Most have been provided with 1 month's worth of food.

As we are working with underprivileged people we are facing different types of problems in this situation. We need to close all of our centers where women are coming for outsourcing work and e-commerce support. As it is a global pandemic so we are losing our international clients and most of the project has been on hold.  

We need to stop all of our physical training and focus on our online training. But some of our students are unable to afford to buy mobile data and those who are able to afford mobile data but the quality of the internet connection is very bad. 

We have also closed our offices and started working from home.  Suddenly mobile operators have been increasing the mobile data price so girls are unable to buy the data pack and they are not able to continue their outsourcing work.

 

What minimum viable solution(s) are you proposing to address the challenge(s) in your community?

COVID-19: How we’re continuing to help our community. 


To help the underprivileged communities, Women in Digital, a tech social venture, has been providing food since the country went into isolation through our initiative ‘Food for All’. We have served 1347 families up until now. Most have been provided with 1 month's worth of food. Most of the families belong to our student families. 


We have our physical permanent center and girls are coming over there learning tech so dont want to stop the center. We have taken an initiative to develop our own online platform for our community. www.mashtor.com is our online e-learning platform. We have kept continuing our training classes through our platform and beside this we have used google class, MS team, Zoom etc.  Now we have 180 students who are doing their classes on our online platform.


We develop it as a global marketplace where learners and teachers connect. Through its intuitive and integrated online classroom, teachers are able to cultivate the internal motivation and potential of learners, and thus help them achieve their goals. It's a place where the connection is made instantly, knowledge is shared and acquired in real-time, and community is created while breaking geographical boundaries.


Universal access to knowledge should be a right and not a privilege. However, bright, creative and ambitious people often lack resources or access to the help they need to be able to achieve self-actualization or contribute to their communities. Then there are people who want to share their knowledge and skills, yet lack the channel and tools to connect with others. Mashtor.com mission is to create these connections and empower people to share their knowledge with others, and together realize their dreams.


The most important thing is that our community can make money through it and some of them already started making money. It is a great platform for teachers and students. 


We have taken another important initiative for our business women community. We have taken the initiative to sell our entrepreneurs' products through our social media platform and our website. It made them more powerful as we were losing our hope for the COVID 19 pandemic. SME’s are doing good now by using Technology and mobile data as broadband is not available in our rural area. We have developed a sustainable model for local women entrepreneurs because our girls and women are dependent on Facebook commerce. Now we have given them their own website and brand development opportunity through our marketplace.


Bangladesh is a developing country but for the COVID 19 we believe we have 10 years ahead in the field of technology.

Share your story (your narrative)

Hello, I’m Achia Nila. I was born and raised in a village and peri-urban area.

I got a good education. In my school, there were both boys and girls. So I never thought about gender issues. I was good at studying and I wanted to study computer engineering. I joined my University and on the first day, I was shocked. Unlike school and college, I was the only girl in the classroom. So I started looking for senior females in the entire university. There were two women, one had already quit and another was about to quit. In the entire country, there were hardly any women in the digital space. This is where my days of struggle started. People did not take women seriously at all. They did not think we can be good in something like coding. 

During my second year, I applied for my first job. There I saw that women were only accepted for graphics. Hardcore coding was a complete ‘no-go’ zone for girls. I had to fight for my first job but I got it. I was again the only girl in the coding department. There were many challenges. Let’s not get into that, it will be a very long story. But in short, the more time I spent, I became more aware of the challenges women face. It broke my heart. Because it is not about judging women in a certain job. The entire society was judging our existence, our capacity, our dreams just based on one thing- our gender. I knew very clearly that I am not going to keep fighting just for my own personal acceptance. Coding is something I love, I enjoy. And there is nothing about being a man or woman that affects coding. This became a bigger vision for me. To bring more Bangladeshi women in technology. To empower women through technology. This is how Women in Digital was born. 

In the year 2013 I started with a small group of 5 women. Today we have trained more than 7868 females in technology. More than 4591 are actively working. In the beginning, it was a challenge to convince the girls and their parents. Another challenge was, we needed women with a good education. So we could mostly work with girls from middle-class backgrounds. We all know that low-income families or rural areas need bigger help. This is why we started running training programs in the villages as well. Today, we have many success stories of women from different backgrounds. We have a woman who could not continue her higher studies because of the family’s poor financial condition. Today she is able to support her family. We have a rural girl from Mymensingh village, who now leads in that area.

There are many success stories like that. 

Women in Digital today focuses on three areas. 

  1.  Women in Digital Agency: where women engineers develop IT product for international Clients mostly in Australia and USA market. Recently we developed a water billing software for our local govt.

  1.  Women in Digital Tech School- This is where we actually provide computer training for girls to be ready for the job-market.

  1. Women in E-commerce- With this we are completely focusing on the rural women. Here we create an international market for their handicraft products through our social media and website. The entire team from craftswomen, photographers to digital coder are women.

With the help of the Spring program since 2018, we have been able to develop a financial model for the training center. Starting this February, we will have four Tech schools in different areas of Bangladesh, Dhaka, Ramgonj, Kurigram and Mymensingh which will run like permanent institutes. We have an online platform too. www.mashtor.com

Bangladesh is probably one of the best countries in South Asia to encourage women in the digital space. Because of government’s initiatives like Digital Bangladesh, we have the opportunity to reach even the most remote region, train the girls and also find them international jobs. There is a huge opportunity. I am proud of training 8590 women, but we have the potential for millions. Of course, there are challenges, it starts with the family, society, education system, exposure, the attitude of job providers, and much more. But we have already come a long way. From being the only girl in the class, to being able to see thousands of girls. Women in Digital is not only a dream, it is a reality and a platform for a better future for women and girls in this country.

Now,

I am Achia Nila founder, of Women In Digital - Empowerment through Technology. I am a Computer engineer. More than 16 years I have been working in the IT industry. I was working for different multinational companies and now I am running my own IT company with 35 women engineers. 

I have served in some of the internationally recognized organizations such as Dell, Microsoft, HP, Epson, Colgate, HillsPet, J&J, HTC, HSBC, Vodafone, Sony, Unilever, Betfair and Nokia etc. As a local product I have successfully launched Maya apa Mobile application. My expatriates are IT product development (like, web, mobile app and game) and Product management, project management, team lead etc.

Beside my Tech business, I have joined as an international IT expert for an international agency. I am the first person in Bangladesh who was selected for this honorable position.

Recently I have joined the Women Who Code as a Country Director.

I have arranged the “National Hackathon for Women” 1st time in Bangladesh and so many tech competitions for women. My organization run an accelerator program for women named “Digital Innovation Challenge for Women (DICFW)”   

In 2019 I have been selected for the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in the U.S.  The International Visitor Leadership Program is designed to provide foreign leaders and scholars with the opportunity to meet American colleagues and become better acquainted with the United States, its culture, and its people.  One of the program's major goals is to promote the development of friendly relations between the United States and other countries of the world. This is the top prestigious program from the United States Department. 

http://womenindigital.net/project/testimonial/3

In 2020 I also received an Acumen fellowship. 

1st women health mobile app developed by me. link: https://www.pri.org/stories/2015-04-06/bangladesh-app-lets-women-speak-without-fear

Some other info: 

Six indomitable women in Bangladesh: Success stories in STEM, Link: https://www.thedailystar.net/supplements/29th-anniversary-supplements/the-youth-the-era-digitalisation/news/six-indomitable-women-success-stories-stem-1870549

Ten Inspiring Bangladeshi Women Entrepreneurs, Link: https://cityalo.com/blog/ten-inspiring-bangladeshi-women-entrepreneurs

Joint Secretary: Bangladesh Women in Technology

Link: http://www.bwit-bd.com/khaledaachia.php 

 

 

Please provide any additional relevant information that you would like to share.

We want to share the following thing with you all.



  1. The Inclusive Internet Index, commissioned by Facebook and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit, returns for its fourth year. The index provides a rigorous benchmark of national-level Internet inclusion in 100 countries across four categories: Availability, Affordability, Relevance and Readiness. This year’s index, which covers 91% of the world’s population, is published for a third year alongside the Value of the Internet Survey, which polled 4,953 respondents from 99 countries, to gauge perceptions on how Internet use affects people’s lives and livelihoods. This executive summary presents the index and survey highlights.



Key findings:


Internet access is increasing globally, but vast disparities remain and the rate of uptake is slowing in the hardest-to-reach areas.


Mobile data has been a game-changer for lower-income groups, but access is still too expensive.


Although narrow, the gender gap in access remains stubbornly wide, particularly in low- and lower-middle-income countries.


The Internet is facilitating people’s management of their money and finances and their inclusion in the broader economy.


People are going online to prepare for the technology-intensive jobs of tomorrow.


Women in Digital is on this documentary and you can watch us after 6min 5sec. YouTube link: FaceBook



  1. UNICEF has been making progress on us and it will be published on 8th July at The report will be presented at the 2020 GenderSmart Investing Summit. The presentation will aim to stimulate conversations and generate real investment interest by showcasing tangible opportunities that have a real impact on adolescent girls and young women on their journeys from education and employment, using sustainable market-based incentives.



 



  1. Women In Digital Achieved



We have received 32 local and international awards and we have highlight some


“Impact Investment Award”, SPRING, UK. 


“The BIZZ Awards 2019”  UK


“Best Business Model Award” Business model, German


“BRAC Manthan Award”, Manthan, South Asia. 


“Spark Entrepreneur”, Spark, YGap, Australia. 


“Best Startup” in inspiring women Award from Bangladesh Brand Forum. 


“YSSE, Women Of  the Year, Business” Dhaka, Bangladesh


“Lokkhi Thanno” Best entrepreneur of the year, Lakshmipur, Chittagong, Bangladesh


“Best Entrepreneur of the year” Young, Bangladesh


Link: http://www.womenindigital.net/album/5


 



  1. Worked with: Women in Digital worked with 




  1. Ministry of Post. Telecommunication & IT, Government of the People's Republic of Bangladesh




  2. Bangladesh Metropolitan Police




  3. Microsoft




  4. EMK Center




  5. USAID




  6. UKAID




  7. Australian AID




  8. Nike Foundation




  9. SPRING




  10. CARE




  11. Oxfam




  12. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation




  13. British Council  and many more



For more info please visit our website, www.womenindigital.net





5. Design ICT Road map for local government (ICT Ministry)


Development of White Paper for Post COVID-19 Action Plan on Technology and Innovation


The uncertainty around the unfolding COVID-19 crisis has left the world shocked and clueless. It has impacted every sphere of life and made us realize the importance of automation and internet-based solutions. In the Bangladeshi context, there are a few major areas that need immediate attention to sustain our economic growth. Our team consulted with sectoral experts and identified a few sectors which need to be enhanced through ICT based solutions. These sectors are:


Health Education


MSMEs


Char/Remote Areas


Health


Agriculture


Outsourcing


Digital Financial Services


NGO


Women


People with Disabilities


 


For more info please visit our website, http://www.womenindigital.net/


Facebook Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4xrEeahMA&feature=emb_title


Impact Story 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fRqVNZNsC4w 


We are on National TV: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3PJSxG-_nc


We are on TV for National Hackathon for Women (1st time in South Asia) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GYoAsFP_KU


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WomeninDigital.net


https://www.facebook.com/groups/666993196762453/

Your Final Proposal for challenge

yes

Videos
Tagged users
edited on Jul 22, 2020 by Achia Khaleda
Commenting is closed

Imran Ali 8 months ago

Good to see one of our friend who work in last 7 years with Girl's and ICT. To change our community Women In Digital can be role model of South Asia and other part of the world.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you so much Imran for your kind compliment.

Shah Md. Arafat Hossain 8 months ago

What you are doing for the employment and self-reliance of girls is really commendable.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you so much :)

Anju Mangal 8 months ago

Oh my god! I have read the full project and you have done very wonderful job for women in technology. Do you have any plans for India? Love to connect with you. Best wishes

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you so much Anju, Still we are fighting for doing the best and we already start at Nepal. Yes we have plan for India including Asian country.

Syed Akbar 8 months ago

I have seen you working hard for this for a long time and it has grown significantly. Keep it up.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you :)

Andy Annett 8 months ago

Amazing work. Great project and the humble but effective and inspirational leadership to deliver it.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you so much Andy

Alex Carle 8 months ago

Thanks for connecting. You have a long and established history. I will reach out directly for tech support to Loop.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Yes, for a long time I am fighting for women established in the tech industry. Nowadays we have able to make our position strong. People are taking us seriously. I love your inspiring comments. I will wait for your email <3

Alex Carle 8 months ago

Are you on linkedin? https://www.linkedin.com/in/alex-carle-61453a3b/ this is me.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

I am adding you :)

Murad Ahmed 8 months ago

I know Achia personally for many years. A lady full of confidence in herself. She has a dynamic personality and hunger to create and change through her innovative ideas and immaculate ability to influence. She has been working on empowering women by enlightening them with IT, introducing them with digital technology. I am sure she loves doing what she is doing and I wish her all the best.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you so much bhaiya :)

Kenta Kato 8 months ago

I have been working with Nila for several years, and I’m confidently admired her effort and passion. I strongly believe that she can make it happen.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you so much Kenta :)

Irin Jahan 8 months ago

I like the way you have run your project, its really remarkable. I have a suggestion for you, could you please make your project name short. As your organization name is Women in Digital- Empowerment through technology. I think you can keep that as your project name also.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thanks for your suggestion. I will think about it :)

Martine Lesponne 8 months ago

Hi Achia, congratulations for the work aldready achieved!

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

thank you dear :)

Irene Amos 8 months ago

Hello Achia,
Hope you doing well.
I want to know.
Is your project scallable to the global level?
If yes, from when you started, how many women outside your country have you successfully helped?
Thanks and wish you good luck.

Nivashini Rave Rattey 8 months ago

Please upload your photo. Refer to code of conduct at https://cocreate.itu.int/hubbub/instancetermsofuse

Users tagged:

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Hi Lrene,
Thanks for you questions, If you read my full project you will get some idea about us. Yes we already started at Nepal. We have informally started at 2017 but last year we have formally started at Nepal. Till now we have trained 80 girls. some of them are working with us and different companies. We also arranged so many workshop at Nepal, more than 500 girls have attend in this workshops.

EUNICE KAJALA 8 months ago

Your agency is doing a great job in empowering women in Bangladesh.How does your agency assist or protect women victims of trafficking?

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you so much for your appreciation :). We have taken help from a local NGO. They have collected 100 women for us. We have given them 6-month technical training on mobile servicing and recharging. After the training, we have helped them to open their own shop and servicing center and also connecting them with the different service centers. But till now we keep their background hide to others.

Daisy Haque 7 months ago

Same question was in my mind and get the ans. thank you.

Israel Abazie 8 months ago

Absolutely a great project. Your passion and zeal is noteworthy. Please keep it up!

Nivashini Rave Rattey 8 months ago

this is not constructive comment.

Users tagged:

Nivashini Rave Rattey 8 months ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

Achia Khaleda 8 months ago

Thank you so much :)

Nivashini Rave Rattey 7 months ago

Status labels added: Community feedback received, Expert feedback received

Nivashini Rave Rattey 7 months ago

Status label removed: Expert feedback received

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Is there any chance to know the Expert Feedback.

James Kiruri 7 months ago

Well done Achia, excellent initiative. It is not clear how your agency is protecting women against trafficking

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Hi James, Thanks for your comments and complement. As our main motto is Empowering women through technology so we are trying to giving them the alternative income source. For example, we are giving training on ICT, e-commerce, mobile servicing, mobile money transfer. When they received this type of training then they have changed their income source. this is the way we are protecting them.

Nivashini Rave Rattey 7 months ago

Moderation status changed: Closed comments

Nivashini Rave Rattey 7 months ago

Moderation status changed: Clear

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

What will be my next step now.

Lynda Beggache 7 months ago

Hi Achia, I went over your very detailed project, and I really admire your complete engagement and passion for your work, you explained your ideas very nicely, and you almost covered all the aspects properly. I am inspired and impressed by the all the positive outcomes you have reached so far. Still, I believe you can give further clarifications to my few questions and recommendations I would like to give

-Having the ICT development index relatively below the average, as for 2017, it was ranked 147 in Bangladesh, mentioning that the individuals using internet is of only 15% as reported by the Wrld Bank three years ago, mostly your training programs, classes, workshops and applications heavily rely on internet supply, what are the possible solutions you have planned to reduce the gap?

-Additionally to my first question, I believe partnership with the ministry of Post and Telecommunication, with the IT Government, in terms of working together in a pre-stage action plan implementation, roadmap and frameworks regarding the ICT infrastructure needs would help get more access to internet

-My last comment is about the funding, since your trainings are totally free of charge as mentioned, so what if, after the women being trained and linked to the professional network, these can help finance the organization to allow more sustainability and keep other women the chances to join the network. Parts of their benefits can be dedicated to enhance the academia and ICT institutions as part of stakeholders chain, to provide more ICT facilies and internet and mobile access

-Lastly, I would like to express my real admiration for your story telling part, this was really the boosting engine of your hole results you reached today, keep believe in your power, and revieling those the women in your community, and at international level have in them!

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Thanks for your feedback, Yes you have asked me a very valid question. Nowadays our government has taken very effective initiatives for internet connectivity in the root level. Most of the rural area now we have broadband connection. We are always trying to use broadband connection for minimizing the cost. But in some of the areas we are doing some pilot projects and facing problems by using the internet, in that case we are trying to minimize the gap by using mobile internet. Government has taken some initiative to minimize the cost of mobile internet for women and we are taking that package and it's an advantage for us. You also can see this report from Facebook: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lF4xrEeahMA&feature=emb_title

Time to time we always talk with our ICT ministry if we face any problem. Personally, I have given so much input when facing any major problem in our work perpus. You know I am working with very challenging issues that are “Women in Technology” so initially we have faced some issues from the all sector but now people trust in our work and our capacity.
Regarding funding issues, we are trying to generate our own funds, We train free of cost then they are working with us and they help us to make more money. But in urban area we offered paid courses. Nowadays we are working with iNGO and the donor agency to access the funding. We have started a partnership with some universities. I get some msg on your feedback. I will work on that especially about our partnership. Again thank you so much for your feedback it's really effective. If you have any other suggestions for me please feel free to give me that.

Lynda Beggache 7 months ago

Dear Achia, I am really happy that you could find helpful the few recommendations. It's really a good thing to have such package dedicated for you, it is certainly contributing a lot in solving the broadband issues. I suggested for you and your organization that some benefit of the future professionals initially your students to help in the finding, but I can see that you already had this policy, that's also a big positive point. You are always welcome Achia, looking forward any request I may be helpful to answer to.

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Thank you so much dear :)

Iqbal ahmed 7 months ago

This is a great initiative for Bangladeshi women in technology. We want this service in our 64 district.

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Thanks Dear, It will take time. We will try our best.

Abul Khair 7 months ago

We will waiting for that! Wish you all the best.

Jean Claude Niyomugabo 7 months ago

Greetings
Let me congratulate you on your incredible idea! it is really inspiring keep it up

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Thank you dear :)

Simon Mbewe 7 months ago

The project appears to be very broad. I would like to understand how you are tackling the digital knowledge levels for women in the rural areas. How is the digital penetration in the rural areas. Is the government doing something to improve this?

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Hi Simon, Thanks for your questions. yes is a very broad project and my dream project. We are doing so many FGD to understand rural women's knowledge level. For the digital penetration in a rural area, we have set up our own computer lab, which we call our tech school. Yes, nowadays the Bangladesh government has initiated so many different computer labs in a rural area. They also made High tech parks in different divisions.

Ivan Ochieng 7 months ago

Hi Achia. Your initiative is phenomenal and very inspiring. How are you able to finance and sustain the initiative?

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Thank you so much Ivan for your compliment. For our rural training program we have collect money from international NGO and Donor agency its an option but we generate money from our digital agency where our graduate students work from international clients. We are developing software, web application, mobile application and game. we teach girls and they are working in our agency. So we all are making money at the same times :)

Victoria Masso 7 months ago

Status label added: Mentor feedback received

Amir Shurrab 7 months ago

Hi @Achia,

I admire this project and there are many achievements already.

What I like:
- The fact that is focused on empowering females.
- Mentioning clear numbers which help us in visualizing the impact that you already doing.
- Freemium model.
- Choosing technology and finance as the main areas to empower women because technology opens the rest of the world to them.


Room for enhancement:
- The business model sounds like completely dependant on grants from the likes of Oxfam, etc. Would you be able to adapt a more sustainable approach?
- Beneficiaries take training, etc for free. How can they contribute? completely free solution build a culture based on RECEIVING help without GIVING in return which means you become dependant on the donor who might impose their own agenda.
- The project covers so many aspects. Don't you think that could spread WID efforts quite thin?

Good luck!

Amir

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Thank you so much Amir for your feedback. Women in digital is a social enterprise. our business model is we have generated our own money from our digital agency. we have 35 women team members in our agency. Those who have taken training from our training center and now they are working for us. www.luminadev.com

You can check their work over there. The team is very good in web application development and mobile app development.
Only for rural training, we are receiving grants after the training they are working with us. We do not grant dependent organizations we generate our own revenue.
For a long time, we are running our business and so many things are a reflection of that. Time to time we have tried to work in every sector where we get women involvement. I will try to make it more clear in my final submission. Again thank you so much for your feedback :)

Nivashini Rave Rattey 7 months ago

Status label added: Expert feedback received

Nivashini Rave Rattey 7 months ago

You may now start filling up the final submission form and reach out to any mentors if you're stuck. Best wishes!

Users tagged:

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Hi Niva, Thanks for guiding me, I will do it as soon as possible.

Daisy Haque 7 months ago

Very good project, Could you please explain how women get mentoring support from you. How we can connect with you organization.

Achia Khaleda 7 months ago

Thank you dear,yearly 2 times we are providing mentoring support all the women. Please keep your eyes on our website. If you want to mentoring support from me then please connect with me at linkedin. https://www.linkedin.com/in/achianila/
I will try to support you. keep in touch with our social media and website.

Adhuna Rahaman 6 months ago

Oh my God! it's really a big project and you are working on so many things. How could you manage all those things?
You are working on so many things and nicely explain the project here. You have already received good feedback from your minister. This is a really good sign of your project.
But I have an observation, you didn't the SDG goals here. Do you follow any SDG goals? It will be better if you include those things on your project. It will be stronger side of your project.
I have seen your so many impacts on your project but how could you measure your impact. Wish you all the best for your project.

Achia Khaleda 6 months ago

Hi Adhuna thank you so much for your comment and feedback. After long time someone comments on my project and it's really appreciated :)
Yes sometimes we are working our ministry and get some good feedback from them.
Of course dear we are following the SDG Goals. GOAL 4: Quality Education
GOAL 5: Gender Equality
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal
Regarding the impact and so many things in a single project, All most 8 years we are working on this project. We get the chance for experiment so manything and finally shape our model. We have a strong team for each and every segment of our project. We use a impact measuring software and always keep follow up on all the project and our students.
Thanks again for your nice feedback.

Muyunda Kaonga 6 months ago

Hi Achia, you're the real MVP. This is so inspiring I can see that you done amazing works. Keep it up. Just a few suggestions, first is it is always great to make your project short and sweet. Mainly what's important is the numbers and impacts you have made. Then the other detailed information you can include it in a business plan or profile. Then I have a question on how you have managed to sustain this since you have been offering it for free? All the best and keep it up, hope you empower all the women in Bangladesh :)

Achia Khaleda 6 months ago

Hello Muyunda,

Thanks for your feedback. Very sorry for the late reply. For the COVID 19 situation, I am unable to stay online always.
We use an impact measuring software and always keep follow up on all the projects and our students. We are free in a rural area but for urban areas, we have taken a small amount of money from our students. all of our graduate students working in our digital agency and that's another way to making money.
We earn from our digital agency.

Nivashini Rave Rattey 6 months ago

Status label added: Submission completed

Nivashini Rave Rattey 5 months ago

Status label added: Idea under jury review

Nivashini Rave Rattey 5 months ago

The idea has been progressed to the next milestone.

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