By Rana Halpern
What we have experienced at Women's
Economic Agenda Project (WEAP) in Oakland, in relation to the recruitment
of adult women to computer classes differs from our experience with
young women. With our adult classes, we have approximately 87% women
in attendance and only 13% male. With our youth classes, we have 35%
female and 65% male.
a women's organization that has advocated for and provided services
for poor women and families for 18 years, we have a strong pool of adult
low-income women who seek out our programs. It is with our youth classes
that we see a big difference between the involvement of women and men.
We try to recruit young women, specifically, by going to schools or
outreaching youth programs. As a result, at the start of our youth classes
we get a good percentage of young women, but, by the end, many of the
young women have dropped out.
We have done a basic level of follow-up to assess why this is happening
and some of the responses were that the class was boring, they had to
work or take care of family, or they had too much homework.
way we have looked at addressing this is by developing a class specifically
for young women based on what they have expressed as something they
are interested in: graphics. This would be to make a space specifically
for young women to have as their own.
© 2000 by Individual Authors