ICTs and Young Women

archived    |    07 Aug 22

The Zimbabwe Women’s Resource Centre and Network (ZWRCN) is implementing, with HIVOS support, a pilot project during the period 2013 – 2015 in Shurugwi district of Midlands Province and Epworth district in Harare province, titled: “Using ICTs to Facilitate Access to Life Skills and Sexual Health Information among At-Risk Young Women”. The project is aimed at building the SRHR knowledge of young women 18-24 years, and enhancing their ability to make life affirming choices. The innovation of the project is centred on harnessing new methods in the use of ICTs and mobile learning to mainstream sexual and reproductive health education among at risk young women in Zimbabwe in order to improve their capacity to make informed life decisions. This will be achieved through the following key objectives:

  • To provide life skills and sexual health information using ICT platforms readily accessible to young women;
  • To increase SRH awareness among young women and their communities;
  • To influence positive health seeking behaviours and ability of young women to make smart life decisions.

The model below depicts the approach that ZWRCN has adopted in implementing the project.  ICTs are at the centre of communication and information dissemination in the project. This includes use of Short Message Service (SMS), uploading relevant audio content on an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) or Freedom Fone, creating Whatsapp platforms for the young women, and training in computer literacy. This is reinforced by the following:-

  • Training the young women in life skills and promoting peer learning
  • Developing a reliable referral pathway for the young women
  • Promoting access to medical and other services
  • Disseminating information on SRHR issues and related matters