Tech Trailblazers: Eight adolescent girls and young women recoding gender equality

New technologies and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic are radically transforming learning platforms and jobs. Digital literacy is essential to thrive in this twenty-first-century reality.

But 2.2 billion people below the age of 25 do not have internet access at home, with girls more likely to be cut off. In low- and middle-income countries, just 54 per cent of women access mobile internet.

The gender digital divide in connectivity, devices and use, skills and jobs is real. It is an inequity and exclusion gap across generations and geographies that is our challenge to address if the digital revolution is to be for all, with all.

But for eight diverse and vibrant adolescent girls and young women technologists, gaps have been translated to trailheads of opportunity – paved not only for themselves, but for many other women and girls.

These technologists embody the hope of change possible if we only invest more in girl- and young-women-designed learning solutions fit for their digital world.

Pioneering process

Mary Gelman, of VII Photo Agency, remotely photographed these young female digital trailblazers through FaceTime video calls, speaking to the very promises that technology holds for her subjects: access and voice. Gelman’s pioneering work employs digital composites to portray each subject’s immersion into their own project – going beyond a single image to convey the opportunities that technology offers to young people everywhere.

Meet the Tech Trailblazers

About this series

Together with public and private partners in Generation Equality, UNICEF calls for greater amplification and investment in adolescent girls’ voices, leadership and solutions for social change – especially at the intersection of the digital revolution. We need more investment in girls and young-women-designed solutions fit for their digital world, and innovative and collective action among a widened partner pool for sustainable change.

Each of the young women profile in this piece have participated in a UNICEF or partner programme.


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