Did you know in 2008, Morocco ranked 146th out of 158 countries in a UN study on gender equality? Organizations like Vital Voices and Intel are helping Moroccan women develop marketable skills and improve the quality of life for all through technology training and advice on how to succeed in business.
Morocco has long been a patriarchal culture where men run the businesses and hold the power, while women stay home to raise children and take care of domestic chores. Though modernization has brought changes, still today, women make up only 28 percent of the workforce and a mere 0.8 percent of these working women own a business. Further, women earn, on average, 40 percent less than men with similar degrees and positions. In fact, Morocco ranks a staggering 146th out of 158 countries in a 2008 UN study on gender equality.
Recognizing the link between education and employment, as well as to improvements in the quality of life for families and entire communities, organizations around the world are working together to offer educational opportunities to Moroccan women so that they can better their lots in life.
In recent years, Vital Voices Global Partnership, a non-governmental organization committed to identifying, training, and empowering women leaders and social entrepreneurs around the globe, partnered with Intel Corporation, also heavily involved in programs to empower girls and women, to provide social media training to a group of Moroccan businesswomen.
Laurie Buczek, Enterprise Marketing Manager in Intel’s Storage Division, led a three-day workshop to help Moroccan businesswomen learn to use social communities like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and blogs to build awareness and sales. Though one might assume these businesses would be mostly craft-based, that was not the case. The women who participated in Buczek’s media training ran a vast array of businesses, including an advertising agency, a coffee pod distribution plant, a bottled water company, and a coffee shop.
Today, these women are using their newfound technology skills to promote their businesses, as well as experiment with e-commerce.
Supporting effective use of technology to improve learning, productivity, and collaboration to find, use, evaluate, and communicate information.
Collaborating with governments, educators, and NGOs to sponsor entrepreneurial competitions and train innovators to build successful businesses.