It is international women’s day with an overarching theme of innovation within the realm of the world’s collective efforts in attaining gender equality: “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”.
With the emergence of new technologies and social innovations comes opportunity to achieve the ongoing efforts of equality between women and men. Technology is crucial in opening up an accessible pathway to e-education and create a space for women to learn and innovate as they play a major role in shaping technological progress.
In celebrating women today, we take a look at Gaza’s very own technology female innovators. The young women who continue persevering in the midst of protests and the heated Israeli attacks on their city. Joumana Sroor developed the skill of coding at only 12 years of age. With 3 other young women in her team, Sroor was able to collaborate on and build ‘Early Alert’, an application that functions as an alert to citizens about accidents, assemblies, dangers near them (crimes), as well as car accidents.
Gaza Sky Geeks, a start-up accelerator and a space which offers mentorships, educational elements, and seed investments as part of a community growth, is an example of the efforts in encouraging young women and men to pursue their passions and explore their skills. Sroor, amongst others working in Gaza Sky Geeks found inspiration in this space where palestinian web developers, coders, designers and freelancers get to innovate.
The tech world is heavily male-dominated, wherein women in Gaza find it strenuous to navigate the space as freely as they want to and progress their careers effectively. With cultural expectations of them to prioritize home and family, it has been proven to be absolutely crucial for a space like Gaza Sky Geeks to emerge and offer women work opportunities within the realm of technology and innovation. The establishment of start-ups in Gaza is fairly new and the community continues in trying to fill in the gaps of equality, work opportunities, and a free space to learn practical skills and innovate.