Panoply Digital would like to wish women the world over a very Happy International Women's Day and a felicitous Women's History Month to our sisters in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. In 2017, it has never been more important to #BeBoldforChange and to continue the fight for gender equality in all areas of life. Use of technology is increasingly becoming a tool in this endeavor, and our own Ronda Zelezny-Green is being featured on a panel today to discuss how she has approached her work in this area.
Tonight at 6:30pm, Ronda will speak at an event which explored how women are using tech to empower others. This event will be hosted by Tech for Good, a London-based Meetup, and Skills Matter, a members-based organization "[...]founded to help drive innovation in software engineering by bringing smart and creative developers together to learn and share new skills, discover emerging technologies and evolve practices and ideas." She will spotlight the groundbreaking action research study in Nairobi she undertook with secondary school girls who wished to increase their access to educational content after school. This was explored through use of mobile phones to create digital spaces where the girls could read a range of books during after-school hours.
Ronda will participate on a panel with three other inspiring women who are using technology in different ways to support others on their journeys of empowerment:
- Dina Ariss: "Having grown up in Syria, she is an activist for gender equality and refugee empowerment. She volunteers for Chayn to work on the gender violence toolkits and has run various refugee-focused hackathons before. She is also an active member of the WYSE network and sits on the Refugee Design Council for EmpowerHack."
- Anjali Ramachandran: "Anjali is co-founder of Ada’s List, a global community for women in technology. With nearly 2500 members and growing steadily, Ada’s List aims to create a more equal, inclusive technology industry."
- Leonie van der Linde: "Leonie graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2013, specialising in graphic design, illustration, and animation. Her first role was as a concept artist for children’s story-driven coding game, Erase All Kittens, which at the time consisted of two co-founders. After six months of helping to create awesome characters and levels, she became the third co-founder and lead illustrator and animator."
While we are interested in the idea of how women are using tech to empower others, we also hope the discussions will surface examples of how women and girls are taking the power and tech into their own hands to advocate for the changes they wish to see in the world. On a related point, we are also curious if critical perspectives about whether tech use in such a manner is contributing to exclusion rather than promoting inclusion and empowerment for those women and girls who are the neediest.
We will be live-tweeting the event starting at 6:30pm using the #TechforGood, #IWD and #IWD2017 hashtags on Twitter. You can also tweet Ronda during the event @ronda_zg if you have specific questions that you would like her to answer or points you wish for her to raise during the evening's discussions. We hope you will all be able to join us. Until then, let's keep up the resistance and continue marching and advocating until the changes we seek are realized!