ICT Assited Economic Empowerment - Integrated Tools Development

Source: amic.org, 2003

The eHomemakers Project, financed under the fourteen-month Demonstrator Applicator Grant (May, 02- July 03) by the Malaysian Governement, is involved in women-connecting-women activities to promote the concept of working from home, changing the existing disadvantages women face and empowering them. We believe that women, especially the disadvantaged, could actively participate in the knowledge-driven economy if they could generate income from home to sustain their families through the use of ICTs.

The "Salaam Wanita Project" is a sub-project of the 'eHomemakers' Project conceptualized to assist and train disadvantaged women (unemployed single mothers with young children, disabled women and those who are chronically ill ) in basic IT skills, with the aim of preparing them to work from home as homepreneurs or teleworkers. Telecenters are not available in their neighborhood.

The eHomemakers Project is now running on its own sustainability fund through other small grants and revenues.

This proposal to APDIP for 'ICT-assisted Economic Empowerment - Integrated Tools Development', a sub-component of the Salaam Project Phase 2, will pilot test ICT application integration taking into consideration affordability and simplicity of usage. The application of the tools is to facilitate economic empowerment of the women.

The other components of Phase 2 are:

i. A Research Study on ICT barriers facing the Salaam Wanita women, specifically related to their disadvantaged positions. It is currently being conducted and will end in April, 2003. The findings from this study will be used to draw up a blue print for the integration of the necessary ICT tools planned in this proposal. This component is funded by IDRC through the Pan Asia Grant, administered by the Canadian Centre for Health and Occupational Safety.

ii. A proposed research to find out potential employers' interest in hiring disadvantaged teleworkers; and how best to match the employers and the women, avoiding stigma and exploitation at the same time; and what type of workable relationship is needed between employers and the disadvantaged in an ICT enabled situation. Funding for this project component is currently being sourced.

The entire concept of the project is geared towards gender empowerment. The project proposal to APDIP is one component that will lead to the achievement of the entire process.