18 September 2011

Ringing Change ~ ICT/Mobis Empowering Women

Meena Bhandari writes in the Guardian about Using technology to close the gender gap in Sierra Leone...
"Admire Bio has the reassured presence of a successful businesswoman, with an edge that reveals she is still hungry for more. Bio, 28, a single mother living with her parents, set up her first internet cafe in the Sierra Leone capital, Freetown, only a year ago. She has expanded with two more branches, and plans to go national if she can secure a bank loan. "My biggest motivation is challenging men," she says, "to [get women to] say: 'Yes! I can be successful without you'." [But there are many barriers to overcome] "There's a need to nurture a culture of real entrepreneurship to allow women to grow. As a first step, we need to put businesswomen on the map," she says. Unipsil and local NGO Afford-SL are working with women across the country to establish a national business network. "Once we have this kind of structure we can begin to bridge the gap between urban and rural businesses, for example, through technology, networking and training," says Manja Kargbo of Afford-SL. "Yes, I'll join a women's network," says Admire Bio. "I always tell women they can be like me -- stronger by saving, investing and doing business with technology."

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