The women’s Digital Centres programme: actively supporting women’s empowerment

Gender equality is a right recognised by the UN, but is a long way from being applied everywhere in the same way. At the Orange Foundation, we are striving to ensure that girls and women no longer suffer this injustice. This is why our digital education programmes and our Orange Villages pay particular attention to girls’ schooling and training for women. To educate girls and make women independent, we support NGOs and associations that are involved in this historic battle. We also taking steps to ensure equal access to the labour market, in Europe and Africa, with our Digital Centres.

 

According to UNICEF, only 43 % of girls aged 12 to 18 attend secondary school in developing countries. It’s a figure that shocks, but that also encourages us to take all possible action to provide schooling for girls. It’s especially important because educating girls has economic, social and health impacts. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has shown that a girl who attends school for seven years in a developing country will marry on average four years after the end of her studies. She will have fewer children but they will enjoy better health. In France, 16% of women ages 15 to 29 were unemployed or under-educated in 2011.

We work with NGOs and charities to educate these girls and support the independence of women in difficulty.

Digital education at the core of the programme

The inequalities between men and women are still prevalent: even though the gap between the gross number of unemployed women and men is closing, more detailed analyses show that these inequalities remain in the professional sphere, especially in Europe (source 2017: Insee and Eurostat): nearly a third of women work part-time compared to only 9% of men. “In 2016, the employment rate for women without children was 65%, compared with 73% for men and the gap widens when the woman has children... And only a third of senior managers are women.”

Empowering women is also a digital training issue. We have created Women’s Digital Centres to train women without qualifications or a job in Europe and Africa.

In some countries, the Digital Centres help women to access paid employment. In others, they help them find a job, return to work or retrain for a different job. This is long-term digital training (six months to a year). Some women learn vital skills: writing, mathematics, using a computer, a tablet... Others learn how to use software and internet.
In Europe and Africa, we work with local associations that have experience working with women in need. At the centres, Orange employee volunteers share their knowledge and skills with the women.

 

Key figures

200 Women’s Digital Centres at the end of 2017 in 18 countries: Botswana, Madagascar, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Conakry Guinea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Egypt, Spain, Poland, Roumania and France.
The aim: 11,000 women trained

 

The women's Digital Centres in the world

 

 

 

The autonomy of women in Africa starts by giving girls access to school

According to Unicef, only 43% of girls aged 12 to 18 attend secondary school in developing countries. It’s a figure that shocks, but that also encourages us to take all possible action to provide schooling for girls. It’s especially important because educating girls has economic, social and health impacts. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has shown that a girl who attends school for seven years in a developing country will marry on average four years after the end of her studies. She will have fewer children but they will enjoy better health. In our Orange Villages, every effort is made to ensure girls can go to school like their brothers. In addition to the school, a water point is provided to free them from this chore and a healthcare centre is there for their family.