As part of the Microsoft Unlimited Potential (UP) global program started in 2005, Microsoft Taiwan organized a series of courses, the Women UP Digital Phoenix Project, to teach women basic computing skills. The program has benefitted 60,000 women, even reaching out to those from the more isolated villages in Taiwan.
Despite the widespread popularity of the Internet, many Taiwanese women are still unfamiliar with information technology (IT) as they have little or no experience with a computer. Their unfamiliarity has not allowed them to exercise their basic right to have a voice in the governance of their country. When these women were unable to provide timely feedback to their legislators and mayors, it eventually resulted in situations whereby their difficulties were not heard by the relevant authorities.
Microsoft Taiwan’s Women UP program provided up to 24 hours of computer courses for Taiwanese women. During the courses, they learned about Microsoft Windows® and how to make use of its applications to surf the Internet, send emails and communicate effectively with others. The participants have been empowered and can now properly give feedback to their government representatives. As a result, the attendees can make use of their newly acquired IT knowledge. They are glad for the opportunity to send emails to the candidates for the country’s presidential and legislator election in 2012, so as to learn more about them firsthand.
The WomenUP attendees graduated with basic computing skills that allow them to provide feedback to the government.
The program has also allowed the women to help each other through sharing of experiences and advice through the Internet. In addition, the women are now more eligible for employment.
“Taiwanese women can now email their legislator candidates and vote for him or her, based on how much the candidates can address their needs and expectations,” said Rainbow Chan, Chairman of Novo Taiwan Biotech Corporation.
With Microsoft’s aid, Taiwanese women have been encouraged to voice their opinions and prepare for a future in which they have a stake.
“Taiwanese women can now email their legislator candidates and vote for him or her, based on how much the candidates can address their needs and expectations.” - Rainbow Chan, Chairman, NovoTaiwan Biotech Corporation