In a bid to empower women, the phase two of Facebook’s Going Online as Leaders (GOAL) programme, aiming to get Indian tribal women to the forefront in various digital domains, has been flagged off on October 16. Interestingly, this time around, Facebook has gone ahead to get the Ministry of Tribal Affairs on board.
GOAL is a digital skilling initiative launched by Facebook in March 2019 for underprivileged tribal women above 18 years of age. The project connects the women with senior experts in areas of business, fashion and arts to learn digital and life skills. The programme also equips women with basic digital tools, digital marketing skills and safety skills.
In the second phase, both Facebook and the ministry aim to digitally mentor over five thousand women in India’s tribal-dominated districts of West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand and Maharashtra.
The GOAL’s Agenda: To Help Women Become Digital ‘Champions’
Facebook aims to boost digital literacy among women and enable them to become experts in various fields. It also expects to bridge the digital gender gap by enabling more women to get online and access digital services.
“This program is important because it actively supports these young women to build leadership qualities and encourages them to be champions and help share their learnings with others,” said Ankhi Das, director of public policy of Facebook India.
Meanwhile, while speaking at the GOAL event, minister of tribal affairs Arjun Munda conveyed his support for the initiative and said that the programme will provide economically and socially marginalised young women with the tools and guidance to use technology.
The event was also attended by Anna Roy, who is the senior advisor data management and analysis and chairperson, Women Entrepreneurship Platform NITI Aayog.
“This announcement illustrates the power of partnership between government and private sector, these young women all have a keen desire to upskill, enter the workforce and be an active member of their communities – their aspirations supported by the ministry, NITI Aayog, Facebook’s intensive mentoring and training program,” Roy added.
What Will GOAL Teach The Women?
The programme includes a one-to-one mentoring session weekly, with a focus on a range of skills including digital literacy, entrepreneurship and online safety. In total, these women will get over two lakh hours of guidance on how to use Facebook-owned apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.
Following the completion of the programme, participants will graduate to become GOAL alumni and will continue to receive guidance and mentorship.
Till now, the programme has witnessed the participation of over 125 women, who have gone ahead to become the representatives of their communities. These women have further highlighted the issues faced by their communities.