TechWomen and TechGirls 2023: Investing in Palestine’s future

Jerusalem24 – Dina Amin – “When you invest in women, you invest in those who invest in everyone else.” David Turnbull, press attaché and spokesperson of the US Office of Palestinian Affairs, quotes Melinda Gates as he explains the purpose of the TechWomen and TechGirls programs.

The Office supports a number of educational and exchange programs that benefit Palestinians – in this case, Palestinian women and girls.

TechWomen brings emerging women leaders in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields from Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East, together with their professional counterparts in the United States for a mentorship and exchange program.

While TechWomen is a five-week mentorship program for female professionals in the STEM fields, TechGirls offers high-school girls (and professionals-to-be!) a three-week program in partnership with Virginia Tech University while living with an American host family.

According to Turnbull, “The goal is simple: to invest in women.”

Each year, between eight and ten women and girls get the chance to travel to the US to participate in the intensive programs to develop their tech and entrepreneurial skills. The programs also provide them with the opportunity to access networks, resources, and knowledge to empower them in reaching their full potential.

TechWomen and TechGirls are geared towards long-term success as well as multiplying the benefits of the programs, with an emphasis on spreading the knowledge and building projects beneficial to the wider community.

“Each team for tech women gets to pitch a project that they will do together when they return to their country,” explains David. “We were really proud of the group this year that won first place in San Francisco. They created this really cool app that helps parents of children with autism – people that maybe don’t have access to all the services or doctors in the field, they can use this app.”

TechWomen and TechGirls encourage participants with diverse backgrounds and skills to apply, including of course individuals with disabilities.

To find out more about eligibility and to apply for the 2023 program, visit the TechGirls website or the US Office of Palestinian Affairs’ Facebook page.

Watch the full interview on Vibes.

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