Explore. Dream. Discover.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – U.S. Author, Mark Twain

Calling women around the world!

Calling leaders in technology!

Calling entrepreneurs!

Calling dreamers and adventurers!

We are currently seeking candidates for the next cohort of TechWomen Emerging Leaders from across the Middle East and Africa. We invite you to apply for the fall 2013 program. The application deadline is less than a month away.

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Working Forum on Women, Information and Communication Technologies and Development (WICTAD)

Guest blog by Heather Ramsey

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Last week I joined more than 75 thought leaders from 20 countries working in civil society, academia, government, the private sector, and the UN who convened at IIE in Washington, DC, for the first international Working Forum on Women, Information and Communication Technologies and Development (WICTAD), co-hosted by the Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and UN Women. During the two-day forum, we explored opportunities for increased collaboration to expand women’s and girls’ access to and opportunities in information and communication technologies (ICTs). Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues, Melanne Verveer, gave opening remarks at the event, stating that, “Technology is one of the highest potential ways to address development challenges. It is the great equalizer for women and we must improve access to ICT and close the Internet gender gap”.

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Tunisian TechWomen Alumnae Reunite at WES Training

Photo Courtesy of WES

Photo Courtesy of WES

“It was amazing,” posted a 2012 TechWomen Emerging Leader on a photograph of her on Facebook where she was reflecting on the ideas shared by other participants at the six-day Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) Training of Trainers (TOT) in Tunisia.

The 2012 Tunisian TechWomen alumnae participated in a training that started with a three-day Innovative Leadership TOT led by Barbara Fittipaldi from Center for New Futures. Participants gained skills to support women in their communities and develop as leaders, entrepreneurs, and managers in a climate of rapid change. On day four, trainer Beth Kanter and co-trainer Stephanie Rudat facilitated a workshop, Becoming a Networked NGO: Using Social Media Effectively, which exposed participants to concepts around transparency, openness and what it means to be a networked NGO.

WES is an entrepreneurship and business capacity building program developed in response to the U.S. State Department’s Office of Middle East Partnership Initiative (MEPI)’s Tunisia: Supporting a Democratic Transition Annual Program Statement. The program provides training on business sustainability for women’s organizations and entrepreneurship for individual women in Tunisia.

The Women’s Enterprise for Sustainability (WES) program undertakes a two-pronged approach and provides targeted training in the areas of leadership, entrepreneurship, and social media to both local Tunisian organizations that operate WES centers and individual Tunisian women entrepreneurs who launch, build and grow their businesses.

2012 TechWomen Emerging Leaders from Tunisia

2012 TechWomen Emerging Leaders from Tunisia

Dreams Do Not Die At Sunrise

Guest blog by Fabiola Addamo–Reflections of a TechWoman Mentor from Catania 

Painting by Fabiola Addamo entitled TechWomen

Painting by Fabiola Addamo entitled TechWomen

Reflections of a TechWoman Mentor from Catania 

I believe in courage. And, I believe that everything is possible in life.

In the city of Catania I was an unemployed girl, full of dreams. I finished my degree in piano performance at the Vincenzo Bellini Musical Institute in 1996. Despite the fact that I was a young, award winning, talented pianist, I was never able to secure concrete job opportunities. I also attended law school and completed 11 out of 22 exams required to finish the degree. This was before I took off on a trip to the United States.

In my household I am the first person who attended university. I was never exposed to professional career options at home. My dad worked in a bank and my mom was a housewife. We were an average Sicilian family. During my youth, I often felt like a bird with clipped wings. I was never able to understand the reason why life was predictably flat.

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Ambassador Verveer Convenes Forum on Women in ICT

Photo courtesy of Katy Dickinson

Photo courtesy of Katy Dickinson

Melanne S. Verveer, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues is co-hosting the inaugural international forum on Women, Information and Communication Technologies and Development (WICTAD), today at the Institute of International Education (IIE) office in Washington, D.C.

The two-day forum, co-hosted by the Department of State’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and UN Women, has brought together representatives from civil society, academia, government, the private sector, and the UN to assess the social, economic, and political implications of the gender gap in internet access, according to the press notice released by the Department of State on January 8, 2013.

Ambassador Melanne S. Verveer addressed the 2012 TechWomen Delegation at a luncheon hosted at the Department of State in October.

Read more regarding the inaugural international forum on women, information and communication technologies and development.

The TechWomen Emerging Leader application is open until February 22, 2013.

Follow the conference hashtag #WICTAD and TechWomen Director Heather Ramsey (@hramseyiiesf) for updates from Washington, DC.