The WE-ICT partnership aims to empower women by imparting economic and digital literacy skills through various workshops. Pictured are (Left to Right: Mon Ibrahim, DICT Undersecretary; Gina Romero, CEO and Co-Founder of Connected Women; Clair Deevy, Facebook Director of Community Affairs for Asia Pacific; Cheryl Ortega, DICT Luzon Cluster Director; Ruth Yu-Owen, COO and Co-Founder of Connected Women, and Evamay Dela Rosa, DICT Mindanao Cluster Director.
The WE-ICT partnership aims to empower women by imparting economic and digital literacy skills through various workshops. Pictured are (Left to Right: Mon Ibrahim, DICT Undersecretary; Gina Romero, CEO and Co-Founder of Connected Women; Clair Deevy, Facebook Director of Community Affairs for Asia Pacific; Cheryl Ortega, DICT Luzon Cluster Director; Ruth Yu-Owen, COO and Co-Founder of Connected Women, and Evamay Dela Rosa, DICT Mindanao Cluster Director.

The Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT), together with Connected Women and Facebook, announced on 13 March 2018 the various programs of the WE-ICT (Women Empowerment-ICT), an initiative that aims to empower Filipinas with strong economic and digital literacy skills.

In Celebration of National Women’s Month, the WE-ICT launched its new programs that aim to educate Filipinas on entrepreneurship and digital skills development. One such program is #SheMeansBusiness, a Facebook-led initiative that has customized blueprint modules for training small to medium businesses. Also, the DICT and Connected Women are collaborating on a job matching program which will help match women trained in digital marketing to female entrepreneurs who can employ them.

“Successful female entrepreneurs contribute greatly to their local communities—they help create jobs and also empower those around them. We see a lot of these stories on our platform every day and we want to do more to help them grow and equip them with tools to succeed. It is part of our long-standing commitment with #SheMeansBusiness which we launched here in the Philippines in 2016,” said Clair Deevy, Facebook’s Head of Community Affairs for Asia Pacific.

Co-led by Connected Women in the Philippines, #SheMeansBusiness has trained more than 400 women through six workshops in the following key cities: Manila, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, and Legazpi. Through entrepreneurship modules, women in these cities have learned digital skills to bring their business ideas to life.

“Teaching women how to harness technology to help them become successful entrepreneurs to us is a modern way of empowerment. We want them to be tech-savvy while allowing them to set and reach their entrepreneurial goals,” added Connected Women Co-Founder and CEO Gina Romero.

Currently, seven #SheMeansBusiness workshops are slated this year in the following cities: Zamboanga, Cagayan De Oro, Bacolod, Puerto Princesa, Iloilo, Naga, and Clark. “These cities are fast emerging as next business hubs who will benefit from tech-based solutions. We are glad to be part of this program that empowers the modern Filipina to be self-sustaining,” shared Undersecretary Eliseo Rio Jr., Officer-in-Charge of the DICT.

“The DICT is pleased to be partnering with Connected Women and Facebook and together, we hope to bring this platform for women farther. We want to reach the farthest parts of the Philippines,” says Mon Ibrahim, DICT’s Undersecretary for Management and Operations and Countryside Development.

Soon, other programs like digital literacy modules will be incorporated in Tech4Ed centers together with regional roadshows. This advocacy aims to build a generation of women who are also well-versed on Internet safety. In line with the global theme for International Women’s Day, “Press to Progress,” the Philippine Commission on Women supports the WE-ICT initiative.

“We are fully supportive of this endeavor. It builds a framework for Filipinas to have a progressive mindset that allows them to pursue entrepreneurship while educating them to become digitally informed,” said Emmeline Verzosa, Executive Director of the Philippine Commission on Women.