2015 – 2016 : Big start, promising first steps

2015 was a year of hard work and ambitions, a year of achievements and extreme potentials for ArabWIC Tunisia chapter. We are glad to share with you, dear readers, our experience and highlight some of the events achieved this year.

Women Hack Day

The beginning of our journey was with Women Hack Day event. It took place in INSAT University on the 28th of November 2015 to honor and praise women in technology. It was a collaboration with Access Now, Netlinks Club, and Women Who Code. The event gathered about 50 women from different fields: software developers, policy makers, and advocates in order to discuss emerging  trends in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.

In the talk panel, we hosted many speakers, mainly active women in computing. We were delighted by the presence of Dorra Mlouhi and Amira Cheniour representative of ArabWIC, Miriam Dahmoun (Focus International), Alia Mahmoud (Microsoft), Abir Ibrahem (Access Now), Seynabou Dia (UN High Commissioner for Human Rights) who spoke about the impact of women in computing.

In addition, Women Hack Day event included a four-hour contest. 15 participants, from different universities, competed in a programming challenge hosted by Hackerrank website. It was the very first initiative in Tunisia where girls competed against each other. The challenge was really exciting and competitive. The first price went to Mouna Tayehi, an exceptional student from the National School of computer science of Tunisia (ENSI), who won a fully funded trip to RightsCon Silicon Valley 2016 in San Francisco as a reward.

She Startup

ArabWIC Tunisia participated in She startup with Salma Saidi as a Mentor. It was a boot camp project that engaged 20 women with no prior experience in leadership or social entrepreneurship from the 24th of December to the 26th of December 2015 in Machmoum hotel in Hammamet. The project was initiated by Young Leaders Entrepreneurs in partnership with MEPI ALUMNI CHAPTER.

The participants were mentored by well-known and successful tunisian entrepreneurs. On the first day of the boot camp, the female participants were taught about leadership skills, communication and pitching techniques. The second day was a little bit intensive, it was about social entrepreneurship, gender issue, project cycle and management. The participants were divided in 4 teams, 5 women each, to create projects to be pitched after 13 hours and 8 minutes (referring to the National Women’s day in Tunisia on the 13th of August ). The selection of the best project was based on finding the one that can generate revenues and have a social impact on gender based issues such as women education, girls education in rural areas, economic empowerment and domestic violence… The final day was the ceremony closure and the delivery of certificates and awards. Our representative Salma Saidi won the best mentor prize with her winning team.

GDG DevFest Bizerte 2016

ArabWIC Tunisia was a partner , on the 6th of February, with GDG Bizerte and Women Techmakers Bizerte, Women Who Code Tunisia and FPT informatique in organizing GDG DevFest Bizerte. With more than 100 attendees, the event was held in the University of Science of Bizerte. During the day, we introduced new and popular technologies such as Angular JS, Python, Virtual reality: GoogleCardborad. We took a glimpse at defensive security and Google Cloud platform. The event included challenges and opportunities for students. In addition, we had the interventions of special speakers:  women engineers, GDG Leads, GSA and students. They were there to share with us their positive vibes, knowledge and experiences. It was a great opportunity to motivate students improving their skills and bringing the best of them.

IBeDroid Challenge

On the 9th of April, ArabWIC Tunisia, in collaboration with Women Techmakers Bizerte, GDG Bizerte and ISET Bizerte, was a part of the International Women’s Day in Bizerte, a day dedicated to working women in computing, female students and teachers. It was under the  IBeDroidchallenge.

During this event, we organized a set of workshops about Android Technologies, networking, IT opportunities for women. We encouraged professional women to talk about their experiences, how to balance between their professional/personal life and the difficulties faced in work.

1300 participants attended the three-day IBeDroid challenge : 70% students, 20% teachers and 10% professionals.

This was a brief summary about the activities of ArabWIC Tunisia chapter in 2016 to keep you, dear readers, updated. Wait for more news about us and upcoming events very soon. Hopefully you are motivated to join us in our journey, we are waiting for you all.