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technology 25 Nov 2019

New partnership between UN Women and Nokia set to promote inclusion and diversity

By Waiswa Wafula

United Nations Women and Nokia have partnered to launch four pilot projects to boost the inclusion and diversity for gender equality.

They aim to address areas such as increasing the number of women employees, raising awareness on cervical cancer and uterine fibroids, promoting STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics education and empowering gender-based violence victims.

The partnership follows a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed recently by Nokia and UN Women, and Nokia’s signatory to the Women Empowerment Principles (WEP’s), a set of principles guiding on how to promote gender equality and women empowerment. It also builds on the ongoing collaboration between Nokia and UNICEF aimed at increasing the access to digital literacy particularly for girls and children with disabilities in Kenya.

Nicole Arian Markazi, Head of UN Women Program Lead at Nokia said, “We, at Nokia, are committed to inclusion and diversity to drive equal opportunity. By collaborating with UN Women in Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa, we strengthen this commitment. We strongly believe that equality will unleash the full potential of young girls and women to become innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders for a better world.”

In the four pilot projects, Nokia will handle the implementation of the WEP’s while UN will involve Nokia in its outreach initiatives to promote inclusion and diversity in the society. The four pilot projects include:

  1. Increasing the number of women employees: This project aims to increase the number of women employees in Nokia Saudi. Nokia employees will also reach out to female students in universities through events, panel discussions and technology talks to create awareness and motivate them to join the workforce.
  2. Raising awareness of cervical cancer and uterine fibroids: This project aims to help women in addressing cervical cancer and uterine fibroids by creating awareness among them in Tanzania. In this project, Nokia will employ a suitable application with chat and information exchange functions to provide real-time support to women for early prevention of these diseases.
  3. Promoting STEM education: This pilot aims to promote STEM education in Kenya. As part of this pilot, Nokia will guide and educate primary and high school girls in the country to create awareness about technology and the opportunities it provides.
  4. Empowering gender-based violence victims: This project aims to empower gender-based violence (GBV) victims in South Africa by including them in the ongoing certification program of the South African Innovation Hub. Also, in the country, Nokia recently joined hands with Johannesburg-based Forge Academy to provide select victims from underprivileged backgrounds with theoretical, laboratory and on-the-job training to seize opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution (IR 4.0) economy.

Also Read: Experts say Gender-Based Violence is a leading cause of school drop-outs in Kenya

“When women prosper, societies and economies grow with them. Starting with these pilots, our collaboration with Nokia is designed to create and celebrate a more just and inclusive environment so that more and more women will emerge as global agents of change.” Said Anita Bhatia, UN Women’s Deputy Executive Director for Resource Management, Sustainability and Partnerships.

After the successful execution of the pilots, the two organizations plan to roll these projects out in more countries across the Middle East and Africa region.

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