To train rural women in digital skills
Jaffna, in Sri Lanka’s picturesque north, today saw Facebook teaming up with the #Suhuruliya initiative to promote economic empowerment of women in Sri Lanka. As part of this partnership, Facebook’s globally renowned #SheMeansBusiness programme will partner with the #Suhuruliya programme to train rural Sri Lankan women in digital skills and promote entrepreneurial activities in the island nation.
The #Suhuruliya programme, under the aegis of the Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) of Sri Lanka and the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs (MCWA), seeks to create economic opportunities for women through the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The ICTA is incorporating #Suhuruliya in its Smart Social Circles, a national programme for empowering citizens through ICT.
As part of this partnership, Facebook’s #SheMeansBusiness programme will train Women Development Officers from the MCWA, who will subsequently function as trainers, as well as women entrepreneurs.
In a ceremony marking the launch of this initiative, 10 women and knowledge agents from Smart Social Circles from the Jaffna region were felicitated. The day’s events also included a #SheMeansBusiness workshop attended by over 500 participants. The participants also went through an #OnlineSafety workshop to help them safely navigate the online economy. Both workshops were presented in Tamil.
“We are committed to capacity building in ICT to deliver economic growth throughout Sri Lanka. Suhuruliya is a key element in our plans to introduce Sri Lankan women to entrepreneurship and this partnership with Facebook will greatly help in taking digital skills to rural Sri Lankan women entrepreneurs” said Prof. Rohan Samarajiva, Chairman, ICTA.
“It’s only when women participate in economies, do nations grow. For women in Sri Lanka, as elsewhere, it’s important to be a part of the digital economy as that’s where the future points to. We have always been committed to Sri Lanka and believe in the power of such initiatives to strengthen society and promote peace and prosperity. Sri Lankan women have a lot to look forward to in the coming days!” said Ankhi Das, Public Policy Director – India, South & Central Asia.
#SheMeansBusiness by Facebook has been launched in 16 countries around the world, including India, and is designed to reach both aspiring and established women entrepreneurs through a series of workshops and online resources that will arm them with the knowledge, skills, connections, and technology required to build and grow their business.
There are more than 60 million businesses around the world who actively use Facebook Pages because they’re free, easy to use, and they work well on mobile. Small businesses discover Facebook for their business because they know how to use it personally: setting up a Page is just as easy as setting up a profile. And Facebook is where their customers already are.
Sri Lanka Fact sheet
- Sri Lanka has 6 million + active internet users around the country [Pre-internet ban]
- Sri Lanka has a growing Facebook community with over 5 million users
- The country has 25 million + active SIM cards
Sri Lanka’s internet penetration is over 30%