Insights and Analysis

Two Superpowers: Women and Data

March 13, 2019

By Tirza Theunissen and Nikki Sharma

Women account for almost 52 percent of Nepal’s population, and as a new generation of young women comes of age, they are eager to take their places in Nepal’s changing economy and society. Perhaps nothing defines these social changes as much as the growing importance of data in daily life, whether for choosing a college, finding a job, or starting a business. Data-related fields are the fastest-growing area of global job growth, yet women are significantly underrepresented in the data sciences in Nepal.

On February 23, Data for Development (D4D), a program of Development Initiatives and The Asia Foundation, organized Nepal’s first Women in Data conference, with the theme डाटा< शक्ति नारी शक्ति, Where Two Superpowers Meet. In a room jammed to capacity with more than 300 women, a panel of women “data champions” from civil society, academia, and the private sector described their own pioneering careers, and their experiences working in data sciences, in a series of panel discussions on data and technology, women leaders in data, and gender statistics.

Afternoon data labs, all conducted by women, covered subjects such as social research methodology, statistics, using data for social good, OpenStreetMap, visualizing gender statistics, and a range of data analysis software, including SPSS and Excel. After the conference, participants had the opportunity to build their skills in each of these areas in a series of two-day, in-depth training workshops.

The D4D program will continue to cultivate the community of women data champions in Nepal through regular events, training, and mentorships, and by making the Women in Data Conference an annual event. The D4D program is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development.

View the conference website and video.

Visit the WomenInDataNepal Facebook page and the D4D website.

Related locations: Nepal
Related programs: Women's Empowerment and Gender Equality


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