Barbara Birungi Mutabazi, founder of Women in Technology Uganda (WITU), 2021 WE Empower finalist
Barbara and Women in Technology Uganda (WITU) strongly believe that the participation of women in the creation of technology will aid in strengthening the workforce. In doing so, they aim to raise the standard of living for women while expanding the possibilities of their lives. After getting her Masters of Science in Information Systems Management at the University of Salford, Birungi set out on a journey to support women’s economic empowerment through technology.
Coming from an underserved community, Barbara has first-hand experience with the effects of women being unable to sustain themselves economically. This fostered her determination to create a difference for women in any way possible. Through WITU, she works tirelessly to increase technological inclusion by closing the digital gender divide and improving the success rate of women entrepreneurship and innovation in Uganda.
Bridging the tech gender gap: Women in STEM
WITU ensures their Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classes and training leave no women behind. Women and girls from underserved communities are given practical learning opportunities to become innovative technologists, leaders, and entrepreneurs to contribute to African economic development. The WITU coding academy provides an 8-week curriculum that targets a range of skill sets within tech, science, engineering, and mathematics. Alongside volunteer instructors, young girls are exposed to a unique learning experience. In alignment with UN SDG 5: Gender Equality, WITU teaches, creates, and provides job opportunities for women in a predominantly male industry.
WITU: A world of opportunity
In addition to e-learning, WITU provides resources and opportunities such as small loans, financial literacy assistance, and connections to a variety of job and network opportunities. The Career, Leadership, and Life Skills Program (CSLP) provides a training program over the course of three months for women and girls that have dropped out of school or are not involved in an income-generating activity. While digital skills and literacy are at WITU’s core, they also introduce vocational, business, and life skills training to empower women to reach their full potential despite any disadvantages. They believe that “providing work as an immediate solution to economic disempowerment is a sure way to put power in the hands of young women and girls.”
Learn more about Barbara and Women in Technology Uganda here.
The WE Empower UN SDG Challenge is a first-of-its-kind global competition for women entrepreneurs who are pushing the UN Sustainable Development Goals and leading innovation in sustainability and climate change through their businesses. This Contributing Series highlights finalists of the Challenge whose work demonstrates how business models and social entrepreneurship can drive global impact.