Microsoft, UNDP and NCW Celebrate International Women’s Day through “Code for Her” Hackathon

Mar 9, 2016

Group of young women participants testing solutions at the International Women Day celebration. UNDP/Fatma Elzahraa Yassin

In celebration of International Women’s Day and success of women in technology and social entrepreneurship, Microsoft Egypt, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Council for Women (NCW) organized “Code for Her” Hackathon on 6th, 7th and 8th of March 2016.

The event highlights the success stories of women in Innovation, Technology and Social Entrepreneurship. As a part of the Celebration of International Women’s Day, Microsoft and UNDP held several workshops and training sessions across the governorates promoting Computer Science, Business and Soft Skills. Under Microsoft Philanthropy to sparking the conversation on women’s impact in technology, benefiting 4,000 young women to #MakeWhatsNext.

President of the National Council for Women Dr. Maya Morsy has affirmed the importance of creating economic opportunities for Egyptian Women Entrepreneurs in Technology through the Social Innovation Hub in collaboration with Microsoft Egypt and UNDP in Egypt which aims to empower young women entrepreneurs in the ICT sector in Egypt.

Khaled Abdel Kader, Microsoft Egypt’s General Manager, stated: “There is a history of women impacting their community through technical contributions, and we are empowering young women in Egypt to develop technology solutions that addresses societal challenges and contribute to the growth of the national economy.”

The main aim of the hackathon is to introduce women in computer science and information technology (IT) to Microsoft’s latest tools. The young women participants worked together to converting their innovative ideas to products and applications ready for the market.

The “Social Innovation Hub” has been recently launched January 2016 to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in computer science among young Egyptian women as part of Aspire Woman Initiative launched by Microsoft Egypt in partnership with UNDP Egypt aiming to reach 100,000 young women in the Middle East and Africa from technical, computer science and industrial fields by identifying talented young women and supporting them in developing their career.

UNDP Resident Representative, Anita Nirody said: “We need more women in the computer science and IT fields. Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, we strongly support young women in technology. Their creative ideas are the seeds of success at the Social Innovation Hub and the society at large.”

The Hackathon ended with a closing ceremony on the 8th of March where Women Entrepreneurs from different fields took part of the day discussing the challenges women face in technology and computer science fields, inspiring young women developers to support each other overcoming the challenges in their community.

The International Women’s Day was a suitable occasion to launch IF3AL for her and Code for Her Hour of Code activities in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports in 25 governorates in Egypt to develop the skills of young women on coding, soft skills and social entrepreneurship.

As a part of the celebration, Aspire Woman University Clubs held several trainings and events engaging young women in technology and leadership development activities. Aspire Woman University Clubs were launched in 2013 and currently there are 18 university clubs in 18 universities at 11 governorates.

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