Case Study Empowering girls through IT and Coding education in Iraq: an innovative learning pathway for secondary school girls in Shatt Al-Arab, Basra
In the Middle East and Northern Africa (MENA) region, despite school enrolment is higher today both at primary and secondary levels than one decade ago, significant differences remain in the education opportunities for female and male students (or in the way male and female students can profit from the same educational opportunities).
This is the case of Iraq, where school is mandatory up to the age of twelve and the literacy rate for female and male youth (15-24 years old) is almost the same, with a 92.10 rate for females, and 94.90 rate for males (World Bank, 2020).
However, this data does not always account for stark regional differences within the country and for structural, social and cultural barriers that prevent girls from fully and equally accessing and completing their education, as well as participating in the employment sector, or also in the society as a whole.
To address this issue, Mercy Hands for Humanitarian Aid, in partnership with Mercy Hands Europe and with the support of the Canadian Fund for Local Initiatives has implemented the innovative "Boosting the technology skills of girls in Basra, Iraq, through IT/coding classes" project in Basra, Shatt Al Arab District, benefiting both schoolgirls and teachers. The project goal was to empower girls by enhancing their IT/coding skills, and train teachers on IT/coding in public schools in Shatt al-Arab.
This paper provides an overview of the education challenges in the MENA region, Iraq and within the specific context of Basra, and aims at highlighting the positive impact of IT and Coding education projects and activities for empowering girls and women, within education interventions in developing countries.
The paper also highlights the main findings from the data collected in the locations of the project, sharing lessons learned, while building the evidence of the positive and multidimensional impact of IT and Coding education activities for girls and women, that could be repeated and expanded also in different contexts.
(Source: Mercy Hands)
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