Women and other vulnerable groups in Bahrain have access to a substantial digital infrastructure whether for personal use at home, for businesses, or educational purposes. Due to the high penetration of internet and easy access to different digital tools throughout Bahrain, all women and vulnerable groups have been exposed to the digital environment for a long period of time, which as a result makes them equally digitally literate as any other segment of the society. Moreover, Bahraini women have been ranked first globally in terms of adopting digital skills.
The Kingdom has taken additional steps towards advancing and empowering women in the technology field in multiple initiatives and programs such as Halcyon, AWS Summit Bahrain (gender progress and digital transformation), Amazon Web Services and C5 Nebula “Women in Tech Forum”.
The Technical Development Program is conducted by the Information & eGovernment Authority, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, aiming to help achieve sustainability, fairness, and competitiveness in both the public and private sectors and to optimize government spending by reducing costs, terminating unnecessary external IT contracts, and creating job opportunities for young qualified Bahrainis. Within the program, 75% of the Trainees are women; this indicates the advancement of Bahraini women in the information technology sector and their desire to be an effective component in the wheel of development.
Moreover, with the world increasingly moving towards digitalization, there is greater demand than ever before for IT expertise. Women in the Kingdom of Bahrain now occupy important positions in this field, for example, accounting for 42% of the employees of the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) in 2020, including 31% of its administrative positions. Stemming from its commitment to enforcing the principles of gender equality at work, the iGA formed an Equal Opportunities Committee, which includes members of both genders from various departments.
In cooperation with Polytechnic Bahrain and BRINC-Batelco, the Supreme Council for Women (SCW) launched the Bahraini Women Hackathon, the first contest of its kind. Adopting the slogan ‘Challenge and Innovation’, the hackathon was among a range of activities celebrating Bahraini Women’s Day, which, in 2019, was dedicated to women in higher education and future sciences.
The contest aims to uncover and enhance the talents of Bahraini women, empower them to become professionals in technical fields, motivate them to join the field of software development and program design, and develop their abilities to create smart solutions in accordance with the latest global trends. This supports the priorities of the National Model for the Advancement of Bahraini Women, such as investment and entrepreneurial opportunities, life-long learning, family services, quality of life, career progression and supporting work services, knowledge management, and Sustainable Development Goals.
Further information about Bahraini Women Hackathon (Arabic only) can be viewed on their website.
Many private sectors within the Kingdom of Bahrain have devoted programs to help empower women in collaboration with the government sector. These initiatives support enhancing the digital skills training aimed at Bahraini women to use eGovernment services through the National Portal and eGovernment mobile applications to empower them to benefit from the government eParticipation tools to make their voices heard.
The Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait (BBK), in partnership with The Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance (BIBF), launched a programme dedicated to building the digital capabilities of Bahraini women in today’s digital world and empowering them with the knowledge needed to use different apps and platforms such as Bahrain advanced eGovernment services, e-banking, online schooling, e-payments.
The programme aims to train 100 stay-at-home Bahraini women above 20 years old, who have been facing some challenges when dealing with the digital technology in their daily life, as well as to enable and empower them to support their children’s education from home, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic and the fast digital transformation we are currently witnessing.
On another note, the National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) spearheaded an exclusive program to support the accession of current and developing female executives into leadership roles titled the ‘Director Development Programme for Women.’ This initiative was conceived by NBB and is being executed in partnership with Tamkeen, the GCC Board Directors Institute (BDI) and EMIC training, in a combined effort to further promote female empowerment in the Kingdom of Bahrain and help break glass ceilings.
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Content Last Updated: 24 Aug, 2023
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