Young people created solutions for gender equality in Social Innovation Hackathon

Jan 1, 2018

Social Innovation Hackathon focusing on Gender Equality took place on December 8 - 10th at İstanbul Impact Hub. The Social Innovation Hackathon brought together more than 60 developers, designers, entrepreneurs, humanitarians and gender advocates including 28 Turkish and Syrian young developers from Şanlıurfa to develop tech-based solutions addressing gender equality. The gender equality themed hackathon has been the first of its kind in Turkey and contributed to the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women – UniTE global campaign.

The hackathon was organized by Re:coded in partneship with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and GAP Regional Development Administration (GAP RDA) through financial support of Government of Japan and with collaboration of Microsoft, Bilgi University, Harran University and other stakeholders.

During the two day hackathon, participants worked together to co-create technology-oriented solutions to “hack the glass ceiling” for gender equality and stood together with women and girls around the world! Hackathon addressed four challenges including women’s social and economic empowerment, stopping violence against women, addressing the digital gender divide and building sustainable and gender equal cities.


15 team created web based solutions and mobile applications

The objective of the Social Innovation Hackathon was to jump-start a project or help an ongoing project take a leap forward. Leaders and experts in gender, technology, business and product development will mentor teams throughout the event to help them understand better the deep-rooted challenges facing women and girls in Turkey and in the world. At the end of the event, a prize awarded to the project that has the potential to make the largest impact to one of the four challenges.

Shahed Alali Alghrsi, one of the participants from Şanlıurfa, “I have participated some other Hackathons so far, but this is the first time I worked with Turkish participants so closely. In couple of years it will not be possible to do anything without knowing basics of programming. It is not just about using things, it is about producing them” said.

Among the 15 projects created by Syrian and Turkish participants, the winner has been the project “Safe-R”. The project is about a mobile consultancy application for women and girls who subject to any form of violence or harrassment, but offering the opportunity to conceal their identity if needed. Reem Alali Alghrsi, one of participant and member of the winner team, “We believed in our project because we believed in ourselves” said.


Support to regional resilience with universal language in Şanlurfa Android Bootcamp

The Hackathon is one of the activities of the Android Coding Bootcamp, that targets competency development of Turkish and Syrian young women and men within the scope of the “Strengthening Social Stability in Southeast Anatolia Project” funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by UNDP in partnerships with GAP RDA, Harran University and Bilgi University. In partnership with Udacity, Re:Coded offer the Android Basics Nanodegree created by Google, for the young Syrians and Turkish people to learn Java language and build creative and need-oriented apps and develop social and innovative competencies in universal world of coding. The trainings kicked off in October and will continue till March 2018. Within the organization, Syrian and Turkish young people coming from Şanlıurfa, had also chance to visit some companies and labs such as Microsoft, İTÜ Çekirdek, Google Dome, Kolektif House, Epigra and Hipo Labs throughout 2 days before the Hackathon.

Re:Coded, a humanitarian innovation non-profit, hopes the Social Innovation Hackathon will build collective goodwill, relationships and ideas that will carry on long after the hackathon. Alexandra Clare, CEO of Re:Coded, said: “We’re excited to bring together a diverse community of developers, community members and creatives to encourage innovative and sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing challenges women face in Turkey and in the world.”

Ozan Çakmak, Programme Manager for Syria Crisis and Resilience Response at UNDP Turkey, said: “With our partners, we are happy to invest in creative capacities of young women and men through this event to help them obtain high-demand skills for accessing to decent work and income opportunities.  We believe in power of technology to help generate durable solutions for gender equality without ‘leaving no one behind”.

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