In February, I wrote a piece about Code Weekend, a tech-for-social-good organization based in Kabul. Here’s an exciting update: last month, it launched the first Code Women Challenge in Afghanistan, aimed at creating smartphone apps to counter the harassment that women face in the streets. Nine teams submitted concepts, and two tied for first place in the competition.
The three female coders from the winning teams—Fatima Shefaie and Alina Niko of Life Technology and Freshta Habibzay, a freelancer—will join forces to complete and deploy an app. It will have a number of features: crowdsourced maps and live notifications of areas where harassment is rampant, distress text alerts to friends and family, and tips on avoiding and handling incidents when they occur. The team has been given AFN 300,00 (around USD $4,500) to design the app.
Says Jamshid Hashimi, Code Weekend’s founder:
“Coding is so important to our generation. We live in an era of digital literacy and computer science. By engaging in the Code Women Challenge, women have the chance to be innovative and creative in solving problems that affect everyone.”
The funds for this project come from three projects funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID): Women in the Economy and Musharikat (both under Promote), and Assistance in Building Afghanistan Developing Enterprises (ABADE).
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