Co-founder of Tanzania Data Lab and Director for capacity development, Mahadia Tunga made the remarks yesterday when wrapping up a five-day training session by Tanzania Data Lab under the College of Information and Communication Technology (CoICT) of the University of Dar es Salaam.
The tailor-made data training program dubbed; ‘Data4Her’, involved 29 women who are employed in different institutions in Dar es Salaam and aimed at increasing the percentage of women who use data in their day to day routine to contribute to global agenda of 50/50 percent participation in all sphere of life. The training has organized in line with the celebration of this year’s International Women’s Day.
Tunga said that early career employees especially women are lucking skills on utilizing data for better delivery at their jobs.
"We wanted to do something special this year so as to celebrate the International women day under the theme ‘Balance for Better’. These programs will help both women and young girls since they aim to enrich their potentials by social development and engage them in entrepreneurship, sciences and technologies,” the IT expert said.
She added that the secondary objective is for better understand and explore ways to mitigate and ultimately alleviate the under participation of women in the aforementioned careers.
According to her, Data4Her program targeting young women employed at early career positions. The program acts as a bridge to managerial positions. The program also aims at empowering women to make informed decisions, scale up career growth, create female data champions, and to establish a tech women database.
“We believe that without data there is no visibility and without visibility there is no priority as Data can shade light in hidden issues which can lead to changes in laws, policies, budget and decisions - especially when it comes to Education and Health,” said Mahadia.
She added: “This is why through a program of this nature, the aims of dLab of bridging the gender gap in data manipulation and usage amongst young women in Tanzania to help them make informed decisions and influence policy, will eventually be reached.”
This year dLab in collaboration with like-minded partners also plan to conduct another workshop special for International Youth Day in August. The target is to reach 50 women.
Leah Mushi, Senior Program Officer Internews, who participated as a trainee said she learnt about pitching on different data driven topics hence write proposals that can enable them get grants for development or community based programs.
DLab is a centre of excellence for data and data driven innovation that brings together critical components of the ecosystem that needs to be in place for evidence-based decisions.
DLab started as a project in March 2016 under the Data Collaboratives for Local Impact program (DCLI) - which was funded by PEPFAR and implemented by MCC at the University Dar Es Salaam Computing Center (UCC) and later in February 2018, dLab was registered as an NGO which is affiliated with the University of Dar Es Salaam, College of ICT.