Girls'Net is a South African social and multi-media programme that gets girls actively involved in the use of technology for their development. Our aim is to use ICTs to help girls realize their full potential.
Girls'Net is a project of Women'sNet and was established in 2003. It builds on Women'sNet's past experiences of training 12-18 year old girls in rural areas in digital audio production during 2002/2003. The training was supported by UNICEF, where girls produced audio spots on themes of their choice, with a view to raise awareness of their gender based experiences. The purpose of the girls' digital audio training was for each training session to generate 3-4 audio spots, produced by the girls, to be disseminated to community radio stations for broadcasting. The training involved teaching basic computer skills but the bulk of the time was spent taking the participating girls through the process of deciding which issue they wanted to produce their radio spots on, how to write the scripts, recording the spots, and finally editing the audio material on the computer. The audio spots were disseminated to the members of the National Community Radio Forum.
In 2003/2004, Women'sNet implemented the first phase of the Girls Tech Clubs initiative. The first phase of the project targeted girls in 4 provinces: Eastern Cape, Kwa-Zulu Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng.
The aim of Girls'Net is to grow a girls social movement through the use of ICT's. Girls are the creators of digital and textual information. This information is disseminated digitally (currently Girls'Net link on Women'sNet website) and by script (through the Girls'Net Newsletter called Gist).
In principle, Girls'Net does four things:
Our vision is for the Girls Tech Clubs initiative to facilitate the formation of small groupings of girls in all 9 of South Africa's provinces who will be able to work together. The meetings are mainly for the mentor and the girls in a club to discuss issues affecting the girls and contribute ways of dealing with them. Girls also have the opportunity to access ICT tools as they learn how to apply them for their own development and hence take part in the social and global activism.
Gist production shows the events that the girls in different clubs get up to. Here, girls post poems or any other form of expression on a chosen theme. Through the website, girls will be able to communicate with others and access information on different topics affecting them. This is also a chance to use different ICT innovations.