The Digital Citizen Fund is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization founded in New York City. The Digital Citizen Fund helps girls and women in developing countries gain access to technology, virtually connect with others worldwide, and obtain the necessary skills to succeed in today's expanding global market.
DCF's mission is to increase women's participation and advancement in the workplace by providing women with quality education, training, and support, to secure well-paying jobs and contribute to their local economies. In many nations worldwide, women's workforce participation rates are unequal to men's, equal job opportunities are far too limited, and significant gender pay gaps still exist across sectors. Growing evidence reveals that women's low participation in developing countries' formal labor markets impedes economic growth and poverty reduction. Technology can support human talent to tackle the urgent social needs of women. Providing underserved populations with a pathway to digital literacy, soft skill training, sustainability training, and community building will transform the societies they live for the better.
Since the first IT Center was built in 2012, DCF has worked to encourage students of all ages to be active learners in the world of technology and empower them to create sustainable income opportunities for themselves and their families. DCF built their first women-only IT Center in Afghanistan in 2012 and its flagship program has grown to include 13 ITCenters – 11 in Herat and 2 in Kabul – in partnership with the Ministry of Education. Of these 13 IT Centers, 11 are located directly in public high schools, allowing accessibility for girls to attend classes, as girls are nototherwise easily permitted to leave the home.
The Digital Citizen Fund is prepared to expand programming and training to cities and villages across Afghanistan. DCF is committed to providing digital literacy training, financial literacy, robotics and blockchain technology to 15,000 females in our IT Centers in Herat, Kabul and Nimorz. This training will provide women access to the internet and training in essential computer skills that empower them to enhance their education, earn money online and transform their lives and self-value.
Roya Mahboob, the co-founder of Digital Citizen Fund, manages a staff made up of 80% of women employees with university degrees and backgrounds in various subjects such as technology, finance, and education. In addition, DCF provides professional development opportunities for women to begin and grow in their careers. Roya Mahboob has received recognition for being a female CEO in a country where women mostly do not work outside the home. She has received threats for starting and managing a business, staffing her company primarily with women, doing business with foreigners, and even driving a car. However, her strong will and dedication to DCF’s mission have helped her overcome these obstacles and help others.
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