How Girls Learn Computer Programming in Rural Kyrgyzstan

Technovation Coding Caravan. Photo: UN Women
Technovation Coding Caravan. Photo: UN Women

In rural Kyrgyzstan, according to UN Women, the first ever Technovation Coding Caravan for girls has taught more than 600 girls the basics of computer programming. Launched in Talas Province, the caravan reached Issyk-Kul, Naryn, Jalal-Abad, Batken, and Osh provinces this spring.

“I used to think that only men can code and become a programmer. Now I want to study programming, pursue my career in STEM,” said Erkinai Omurzakova, a participant from Jalal-Abad Province.

Omurzakova and the other girls aged 10-18 practised prototyping mobile applications, and working in teams, learned to, conduct marketing research, write business plans, make videos and presentations and discussed solving socioeconomic problems of Kyrgyzstan through technology.

“I always wanted to become a programmer, but others used to tell me that this career is not for me,” said Alina Baktybekova, a participant from Issyk-Kul Province. “After participating in the training, all of my doubts and fears disappeared. I’ve decided to follow my dream!”

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The caravan inspired rural girls to participate at the annual Technovation Challenge, the world’s largest global tech entrepreneurship competition for girls, which will take place in 2020.

The coding caravan supported by UN Women offers girls around the world an opportunity to learn the necessary skills to emerge as tech entrepreneurs and leaders.

Technovation Coding Caravan for girls is led by the UN Women partner Technovation with support of the UN Women Kyrgyzstan Country Office, US Embassy in the Kyrgyz Republic, and a network of the top talent in business, design, and technology in the world – TopTal.

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Rakesh Raman