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European Year of Skills
News article3 April 2024Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion1 min read

Rural Women Digital Literacy: Breaking Barriers, Building Skills

In today's society, digital skills are indispensable across various aspects of life such as employment, health, education, politics, and leisure. Therefore, initiatives for adult digital training are essential, particularly for those with limited digital literacy. This article is part of the National Coordinators article series.

Rural women DIGITAL LITERACY logo

Women, especially those in agriculture with inadequate digital skills, often face barriers to active social participation, emancipation, and satisfactory employment. Hence, digital literacy is crucial for enhancing personal, social, and work environments, bridging the digital divide, and integrating citizens into society.

The "Digital Literacy for Rural Women" (PROFEA) project aims to empower women by providing access to the economic system, recognizing the fundamental role of digital skills in the future of work. This initiative complements the digital transformation, focusing on rural populations and fostering personal development and social inclusion.

The Spanish Ministry of Labour and Social Economy, through the State Public Employment Service (SEPE), implements the Digital Literacy for Rural Women program as part of the Recovery, Transformation, and Resilience Plan. Aligned with the European Year of Skills objectives, the program addresses the National Strategy to face the Demographic Challenge 2030, emphasizing equal rights and opportunities for women and young people.

The program aims to reduce three key gaps:

  • Employment disparity by providing better opportunities and continuous requalification.
  • The digital gender gap, especially as technology advances.
  • The territorial gap in rural areas, promoting cohesion and addressing demographic challenges.

Targeting 180,000 rural women in eight depressed rural areas, the program offers a tailored digital literacy training itinerary through in-person sessions. SEPE oversees the program's management, ensuring adaptation to participants' needs and competence levels, and supervises training quality and delivery.

As of December 31, 2023, 85,57% of the 180,000 targeted women have completed their digital training itinerary. As a result, the program has increased the digital competence of the participants and improved their personal, social, and work self-esteem.