Women must discover new opportunities in the digital economy

New opportunities for Kazakhstans girls and women in the digital economy were discussed at the meeting of the Chairman of the National Commission for Women and Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, A. Balaeva with women IT entrepreneurs, which took place on August 27, 2022 in Nur- Sultan.

Digitalization and rapid technological development not only open up new opportunities, but also create new social challenges and risks for women. One of the significant risks associated with the development of the digital economy is the growing gender inequality in the world of work and in society as a whole. The report of the World Economic Forum Summit in Davos (WEF, 2016) noted that the upcoming technological changes in the field of employment will affect women to a greater extent.

Kazakhstan has achieved significant results among the countries of Central Asia and Eastern Europe in the field of digitalization and the spread of the Internet, despite the vast territory.

In the UN rating on the e-government development index, Kazakhstan ranks 8th in Asia and 39th worldwide. In 2020, it ranked 29th among 193 UN member countries in terms of the “online service” indicator, the country ranks 26th in the world.

According to the index of open government data, Kazakhstan ranked 1st among Asian countries. According to the index of online services – 3rd place among Asian countries and 11th place in the global ranking. In terms of the level of development of local online services, Almaty is ranked 29th among 100 cities in the world.

Digitalization in Kazakhstan has gone far ahead of many European and Central Asian countries. This opens up great opportunities for Kazakhstans women who must learn how to use digital services and find niches for earning money in the digital economy. The public association TECHNOWOMEN proposes to develop a program to improve the basic digital literacy of the population, as the basis for the use of digital technologies and the Internet in the daily life of all segments of the population in all regions to improve the quality of life, the level of happiness, access to high-quality sources of knowledge, increase the level of involvement of the population in social economic life of the country. Women who are engaged in micro and small enterprises, artisans, rural entrepreneurs should discover the possibilities of e-commerce in order to openly enter Kazakhstani and foreign marketplaces.

Aziza Shuzheeva, President of TECHNOWOMEN, suggested actively developing new technological areas, such as the space industry and artificial intelligence. “We need to develop and launch a women’s space program. Why do we not have a female cosmonaut in 30 years of independence? Artificial intelligence is a very promising sector of the IT industry. I propose to allocate special educational grants to train girls in STEM professions, especially in the field of artificial intelligence, programming, space exploration in universities and TVET. Work out programs for obtaining vocational education with the possibility of combining with work, the development of online learning, hybrid forms of education, so that more working youth and women who have lost their jobs can retrain and find new jobs in technology industries and companies,” said Aziza.

Bikesh Kurmangaliyeva, co-founder of TECHNOWOMEN: “For the digital transformation of public administration and the economy, we propose to launch a program to train digital officers, digital transformation officers (CDO, CDTO), who will then become agents of digitalization in managerial positions in government agencies, corporations, companies. The TECHNOWOMEN community will attract more high-level female IT specialists to this program. This will create new social lifts and attract more women to the tech industries. Quasi-state corporations, within the framework of the instruction of the Head of State on 30% representation of women in management, can take advantage of the talent pool of TECHNOWOMEN and attract more women to leadership positions that will advance the digital agenda.”

In order to maximize the involvement of girls in the digital economy, it is proposed to open TECHNO GIRLS clubs in all universities and colleges, which the TECHNOWOMEN community will mentor, train and direct to the most popular areas.

At the regional level, together with local executive bodies, TECHNOWOMEN are ready to help create regional IT hubs in order to actively involve young people and women in digital entrepreneurship, demonstrate the best practices of the digital economy, remote work, create specialized courses for housewives, temporarily unemployed, self-employed women , with constant online support of mentors and experts in various fields of activity.

At the meeting, IT projects of Kazakhstani entrepreneurs for the development of e-commerce of social entrepreneurs, support for women entrepreneurs, online education, advanced training of teachers and digitalization of schools, sex education for youth, prevention of domestic violence, combating sexual harassment, online support of women during pregnancy, and also detection of oncological diseases and diagnostics of pregnant women.

Today it is important to carry out active outreach and show new images of progressive women who have been realized in the technology industries. It is necessary to use the media and social networks to show new opportunities for girls and women in the digital economy, as well as to motivate families to invest in girls and send them to study STEM disciplines. For example, in the TECH News program on Khabar 24, show the achievements of Kazakhstan in digitalization, disseminate information about new opportunities and show new women’s faces and women’s IT projects under the “Made in KZ” brand.

The meeting will be attended by representatives of central government agencies, local government agencies, quasi-state companies and the media.

The organizers of the event are the National Commission for Women and Family and Demographic Policy under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the public association “TECHNOWOMEN”.

Presentation for August 27 

Presentation “TW Initiatives”