Bringing Blockchain Technology Education to Girls in Pakistan
We all know that investing in the education of girls brings high returns in terms of breaking cycles of poverty and boosting economic growth. Educating girls makes economic sense. Historically girls and women have been excluded from education more so than boys; facing more challenges and having less opportunity to access and complete it.
The Benefit of Educating Girls
– Reduces the high rate of child marriage and early pregnancy
– Builds more stable communities by reducing vulnerability to climate change, due to education being the most effective way to reduce carbon emission and tackle climate change
– Increased employment opportunities
– Educated labour pools increase investment potential in targeted areas
– Educated mothers know how to prevent exposure to HIV/AIDS
– Educated mothers more likely to vaccinate their children
– With the proper level of education, the frequency of early births would drop by 59% and child deaths would decrease by 49%
Literacy rates continue to rise from one generation to the next, yet according to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, there are still 750 million illiterate adults, two-thirds of whom are women. These numbers are a stark reminder of the work ahead to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 4 and 5 and the Education 2030 targets.
Young women continue to lag behind young men
Despite the progress, gender disparity in youth literacy remains persistent in almost one in five countries, as shown in the UNESCO eAtlas of Literacy, in 43 countries, mainly located in Northern Africa and Western Asia, Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, young women aged 15 to 24 years are still less likely than young men to have basic reading and writing skills. This is a clear sign of the persistent challenges that continue to hold girls back.
Additional challenges for girls in Pakistan
– Only 22% of the population have internet access
– A high percentage of the population – 6% of the total global population – have no access to financial services
– Though cell phone access is growing, Pakistan remains one of the least connected countries
Girls looking to learn digital skills and STEM subjects have an especially difficult time. Very few households have home computers, lack of facilities, transportation challenges to get to existing education facilities, lack of educators and mentors, all hinder education efforts.
Getting Girls Excited About Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Based Careers
Only 35% of higher education students studying STEM subjects are women. Careers in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) are considered the jobs of the future, with the European Parliament forecasting around 7 million new STEM jobs by 2025 in Europe alone and not enough people to fill them. A higher percentage of women from impoverished countries choose a STEM career path as it is seen as a clear path out of poverty.
What is Blockchain Technology?
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
– Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016)
Blockchain & Mobile Phones- Allowing for Financial Inclusion at Lower Cost
Financial inclusion is considered a key factor in reducing poverty. Pakistan constitutes about 6% of the total global population with no access to financial services, according to a World Bank report. Blockchain and mobile technology offer immense opportunities for financial inclusion, education, and healthcare.
Blockchain and mobile technology can put the unbanked on the grid since there would be no need for maintaining branches or other costly infrastructure – heavy costs that prohibit financial institutions from opening branches and granting banking access to many rural, impoverished areas. With cell phones allowing for digital wallet capabilities at a lower cost, a small transaction that a large financial institution would not consider facilitating, a cryptocurrency transaction for a small amount could be done peer to peer, quickly and efficiently.
“Microfinance has become a socially acceptable mechanism for extracting wealth and resources from poor people,” London School of Microeconomics professor, Jason Hickel, The Guardian
Microlending can be a life line helping many people pull themselves out of poverty but due to some bad actors it has gotten a bad reputation with many concerned that the only parties that benefit are the lenders due to high interest rates charged. Blockchains’ ability to record the smallest of transactions, fewer overhead costs, increases transparency, and significantly reduces interest rates by removing the need for mediators or central authorities.
There is a global realisation that science, technology and innovation are central for a more sustainable and prosperous future.
Pakistan, with 70% of the population under the age of thirty and emerging trends show Pakistani youth love smartphones; the same trend that we see in western countries. By 2020, Pakistan is expected to have over 100 million smartphones. Their growing interest in cell technology, and education especially in the STEM fields can be leveraged for the benefit of increased prosperity and the overall security of Pakistan. Ensuring girls get an education and support for further learning opportunities will help in promoting a positive image worldwide and promote the development of more entrepreneurial startups, advancement of science and technology and drastically improve the country’s economy as a result.
Education is the backbone of a nation’s economy and technological advancements in fields like blockchain technology offer hope for a brighter future.
CryptoChicks bringing their highly successful blockchain hackathon model to the girls of Pakistan
International blockchain & AI non-profit educational organization CryptoChicks is inviting girls, women, mentors, educators and sponsors to the CryptoChicks Karachi Blockchain Hackathon.
It is extremely important to give women a high quality education in emerging technologies in a countries like Pakistan. We are really proud to be on the frontier of the blockchain education here. Women here need it the most. They are very kind and motivated to take this opportunity. Though such education for them doesn’t come easy; the majority of them don’t have computers at home. In order to learn, even online they have to take a few buses to get to the class to study blockchain. We are calling for the sponsors to help these girls. Providing them with laptops for example would make a huge difference.
Elena Sinelnikova, CryptoChicks Founder and CEO
A non-profit blockchain educational hub for women, CryptoChicks’ mission is to assist women and girls in blockchain & AI technology via mentorship and education. While the events sponsored by CryptoChicks are open to everyone, the focus is on women, as the company believes “women’s involvement will help blockchain realize its enormous potential as an instrument of positive change in the world.”
“Pakistan has a growing middle class and a big number of talented young people with interest in building and using technology. As we know that this is going to be an era of blockchain technology and the world would need half a million blockchain developers in the next five years. We strongly believe that Pakistani women should learn to develop blockchain applications and secure a job for the future. Right now, with the help of CryptoChicks we are providing opportunities to our local talent to learn and work on Blockchain applications and the next plan is to do a hackathon so that we can gauge the interest, ideas and skill level.”
Faiza Yousuf, Ambassador, Pakistan
The blockchain is cutting-edge technology and there are jobs for every aspect of the blockchain ecosystem. So, we hope to equip the women with its knowledge in partnership with CryptoChicks and with that, we are planning to do a hackathon to see how our young talent can help us test run ideas to solve both local and global problems. We want it to be a first of its kind hackathon in Pakistan and are open to collaborate with both local and international organizations to bring the best to our talented country.
Shamim Rajani, Ambassador, Pakistan
For more information on the CryptoChicks Karachi Blockchain Hackathon and how to get involved head to https://pakistan.cryptochicks.ca/
Help Needed – CryptoChicks Karachi Blockchain Hackathon
Hackathon participants in Pakistan face many unique challenges including not having basic access to a computer, supplies and transportation to the hackathon event. We need sponsors to help us ensure a successful event and to help these incredible young girls get started on exciting career paths. We have an enormous outreach worldwide and can prove, without a doubt, why working with CryptoChicks can be beneficial to your business.
For more sponsorship information https://cryptochicks.ca/to-sponsor/