Computing for women, by women in India

Students from LBS College for Women, Trivandrum hacking a hard disk at HackerSPACE. Photo: SPACEStudents from LBS College for Women, Trivandrum hacking a hard disk at HackerSPACE. Photo: SPACEAs part of its 10th anniversary activities, SPACE initiated programmes focusing on the ICT needs of women in both the technical and non-technical community. A seminar and workshop on safe and effective internet use was held at Government Women’s College, Vazhuthacaud on 11-13 November 2013. The pervasive presence of information technology demands a new kind of awareness among women, for whom this technology has opened up new opportunities as well as challenges. Women now face new forms of violence perpetrated by means of technology, a social issue which has unfortunately not been adequately addressed, as technology is something that confounds many people. Addressing this issue and promoting the safe use of technology among women were the main motives behind this endeavour.

To build future women hackers, HackerSPACE, an open community initiated by SPACE, held various technical trainings and workshops for young women. Workshops for women were held in three technical education institutions, where participants were introduced to “hacking” through fun-filled activities. News of this initiative spread so well that for the last event, on Arduino Day, one student came from the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu, more than 150 km away (quite a distance by Indian standards). The initiative will be continuing in the coming year.

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