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A new collaboration between UN Women and HP builds on the existing model of a partnership in Mexico, where equipment and entrepreneurial online learning courses are offered in digital classrooms to over 5,000 women under UN Women’s Second Chance Education Initiative with financial support from BHP Foundation.

UN Women executive director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and HP VP and MD for Africa signed an MOU to expand digital learning opportunities for women and girls in five countries: South Africa, Senegal, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo and Morocco. The collaboration will also leverage UN Women’s African Girls Can Code initiative, a joint programme of the African Union Commission, UN Women and International Telecommunication Union.

Worldwide, over 2.7 billion women are legally restricted from having the same choice of jobs as men. The disparities around access to jobs, training and education are even more acute in crisis and humanitarian situations, where girls are more likely to drop out of school, face wage discrimination or vulnerable employment, unemployment and are less likely to be socially protected.

Moreno said, “Education is a fundamental human right that should be available regardless of a person’s gender, class, race or location. To that end, HP has pledged to enable better learning outcomes for 100 million people by 2025 – a commitment that aligns with the fourth goal of the UNs’ Sustainable Development Goals: Quality Education. As the world wakes up to the power of women, HP is partnering with UN Women to embrace the power of education and job training to reinvent mindsets, promote careers in technology, and drive systemic change.”

“Today over 131 million girls are out of school, and half a billion women are illiterate,” said Mlambo-Ngcuka. “There’s an urgent need to enable girls and women to gain digital literacy and become economically self-reliant. Bringing together civil society, public and private sectors, and most importantly, women and their communities, UN Women is trying to break current trends by creating global solutions and scalable models.”