This is the archived SXSW 2012 schedule. Please see the current schedule here.

Women Drive Change: Tech in the Global South

#sxsw #femtech

The use of technology by women in the Global South is growing fast!

From Africa to South America to Southeast Asia, women in the Global South are using technology tools in new and creative ways with astounding results. Teen girls and senior citizens alike are finding the freedom to use technology to let their voices be heard, to foster an independent living, and to bring about revolution.

Women in the Global South are using advanced tactics and tools to:

* Gain support to achieve their right to drive in Saudi Arabia
* Advance human rights, sexual and reproductive rights and health, governance, and sustainable development in East Africa
* Raise awareness about corrective rape and other hate crimes against lesbians in South Africa
* Do Community mapping of sexual violence and harassment in Egypt
* Mobilize support for women’s representation in leadership positions
* Organize to topple political leadership

Sophisticated and coordinated social media campaigns are becoming the domain of women all over the world.

We will talk about what this means for women in the Global South, how their online personas might differ from real-world personas in societies where women have fewer rights, and where technology tools need to go next in order to meet their specific needs.



Catherine Harrington Program & Comm Assoc Women's Learning Partnership

Catherine is a Program & Communications Associate at Women's Learning Partnership (WLP). At WLP, Catherine liaises with WLP partner organizations in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, helping to coordinate programs in these countries, and facilitates communications and outreach related to WLP's campaigns and programs. Prior to WLP, Catherine worked at the Council on Foreign Relations as an editorial assistant for Foreign Affairs, interned at the Center for International Cooperation, and served as an editor for Watching America. She received her M.Sc. in Global Affairs from New York University, with a concentration in international relations, and a B.A. in History from Tulane University.

Emily Jacobi Exec Dir/Founder Digital Democracy

Emily Jacobi is Co-Founder and Executive Director of Digital Democracy, a New York-based nonprofit that works globally to empower marginalized communities to harness technology to fight for their human rights. Beginning her career as a youth journalist, at the age of 13 Emily reported from Havana, Cuba on the lives of young Cubans during the Troubled Period. She has since worked with marginalized communities including migrant workers, women's groups, refugee youth and others on media & technology projects in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia and the United States. Prior to founding Digital Democracy in 2008 she worked at Internews Network, and Y-Press.

Emily has presented on the intersection of technology, civic engagement and human rights to US Congress, the State Department, the United Nations, and numerous universities and technology conferences. She has written extensively on the role of mobile phones and technology in Burma/Myanmar.

Jenn Sramek Sr Project Mgr CivicActions

Jenn is a Senior Project Manager at Acquia, Inc., an enterprise open source product and service company, and loves working with people to adopt open source software.

She has a long history of nonprofit work from restoring and operating a community garden with the local Boys and Girls Club, serving as an Agro-Forestry volunteer for the U.S. Peace Corps in Chad, Central Africa, and eventually to working as a Program Director and Development Director in several different nonprofit organizations. Her technical proclivity and fascination with the way that the web was changing and enriching everyday interactions eventually drew her to work with nonprofits in technology where she has managed numerous open source website implementation projects for clients including, Architecture for Humanity, Equal Justice USA, and many others.

Offline, Jenn was the Program Manager for the Eco-Center at Heron's Head Park, where she worked with local youth and community members to design an off-the-grid environmental education center and to get the development permitted and approved. The project won the 2010 EPA National Environmental Justice Achievement Award for Community Collaboration. She was a featured speaker at the Conference of the North American Association of Environmental Educators (NAAEE) on the topic of increasing diversity in Environmental Education.

Jenn holds a B.A. in Literature with an emphasis in Creative Writing from UC Santa Barbara and is fluent in French and Chadian Arabic.

She serves as the President of the Board of Directors of the Haight Ashbury Food Program, a non-profit emergency food pantry in San Francisco, California.

Kara Andrade Ashoka Fellow Ashoka

Kara Andrade is an Ashoka fellow working in Central America. She is co-founder of, a local mobile-driven network of regional citizen information websites in Latin America where contributions can be anonymous. Previously she was funded by the U.S. State Department to implement a mobile-based citizen journalism website called HablaGuate. She was the Community Organizer for Spot.Us, an open source project that focuses on community-funded reporting. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a Masters in Journalism and has ten years of experience in nonprofit development, public health and community organizing. She has worked as a multimedia producer and photojournalist for Agence France-Presse, Americas Quarterly, Associated Press, Christian Science Monitor, France 24, Global Post, ReVista: Harvard Review of Latin America, The New York Times and other publications.

Zawadi Nyong'o CEO Africa Cancer Foundation

Zawadi is an Afropolitan feminist digital native, working as a free agent to use her non-profit experience, creativity, social media skills, extensive global networks, fundraising expertise, spirituality, passion & fire for social justice to create the world she wants to see. She has been working in the field of sexual and reproductive rights for almost seven years, and advocating for women's rights for over ten years. In 2010 she published a book with Akina Mama wa Afrika, called, "When I Dare to be Powerful" - a collection of short stories told by five women who are engaged in sex work in East Africa. She has worked with several women's rights organizations, including the Association of Women's Rights in Development (AWID) in Mexico, and Urgent Action Fund-Africa, an African women's fund that is based in Nairobi where she is from. She is currently acting as the CEO of the newly established Africa Cancer Foundation, whose mission is to promote the prevention of cancer and provide holistic solutions to people affected by cancer in Africa.

Zawadi is a founding member of RESURJ (Realizing Sexual and Reproductive Justice) a new global feminist alliance that is led by younger feminist activists working to advance a progressive, comprehensive, effective and sustainable sexual and reproductive rights and health agenda, with a particular focus on the Global South. She also serves as an advisor to a number of other initiatives including Akili Dada & Earth Birth. She is also currently working on bringing my spirituality, creativity, geek girl tendencies, fire for social justice and movement building, love for dance, yoga and African fashion together. Her new company, “Zero By Zawadi” is an expression of this.

Our Awesome 2012 Sponsors