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Girls in Tech-Jordan chapter launched

By Mohammad Ghazal - Mar 08,2015 - Last updated at Mar 08,2015

AMMAN — The Girls in Tech-Jordan chapter was launched on Sunday with a view to support women in the ICT sector on different fronts. 

The Jordan chapter, affiliated to the US-based Girls in Tech, will implement a series of activities and programmes to support female students, entrepreneurs and professionals in the ICT sector.

It will provide training, education and mentorship to schoolgirls, university students and entrepreneurs through creating a network of mentors to support women in the ICT field.

In addition, Girls in Tech will provide them with entrepreneurial skills to open their businesses and the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a network of investors.

In her address at the launch, which coincided with International Women’s Day, US Ambassador Alice G. Wells noted that some might think that programmes like Girls in Tech may not be a priority in light of the regional unrest and a sluggish global economy.  

“I could not disagree more,” Wells said, adding that a diverse and inclusive economy can be achieved through a stable and prosperous society.

“We can all agree that a strong economy is the foundation of a resilient country. Time and time again, Jordan has proven its resilience. Despite limited natural resources, Jordan has been able to achieve this by accessing its most precious resource of all — its people,” the ambassador said.

With only 16 per cent of women in the formal job market, Jordan has one of the most underutilised female labour forces in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Yet, Jordanian women have one of the highest secondary school enrolment rates in the world that stands at 88 per cent, she added.

“This high enrolment rate highlights a significant source of untapped human talent capable of ushering Jordan into an era of renewed economic growth,” Wells noted.

She said studies show that if female participation in the labour market increased to the MENA average of even 27 per cent, this would expand Jordan’s gross domestic product by up to 10 per cent.

The ambassador also reviewed programmes implemented by the US to support women in the ICT field in Jordan.

Rania Ghosheh, managing director of MENA Apps and a board member of the Girls in Tech-Jordan chapter, said the launch is a boost to women in the ICT sector.

“This will help increase the percentage of women on the entrepreneurial scene,” she said, noting that it currently stands at 29 per cent.

The Jordanian chapter will help create a female IT community in Jordan to enable networking and professional growth for entrepreneurs, Ghosheh added.

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