The aim of the initiative supported by the Australian Embassy in Belgrade is to raise awareness about urgency of spreading digital literacy among women across Serbia and importance of being digitally literate. We kicked-off this campaign at the fourth AFA Women’s Leadership Summit when her Excellency Madam Ambassador of Australia to Serbia, Montenegro and North Macedonia Ms Ruth Stewart addressed the issue of urgency of the matter and dire need of being digitally literate not only in future, but also today. As this year’s Summit was virtual, the message we sent spread to much larger audience than it would if the Summit was physical. However, it also meant that anybody who was not digitally literate or connected to the Internet was not able to attend the Summit, although the Summit was aimed exactly at these women who were not digitally literate or not professionally developing themselves along the rapidly changing needs of labour market.
Another important aspect of rasiing awareness among general public is first raising awaraness among media. That is why we organized a panel discussion with some of the most influential media in the country to inform them about the problem (i.e. that 57% of women in Serbia are basically digitally illiterate and some of them will lose their jobs if they do not make a transition in their work which requires digital literacy) so that they can continue to position the problem of poor digital literacy in general public. We also want media to point out to the importance of informal education among general public for compensation of missing skills (especially in older generation who do not have an opportunity to gain needed knowledge and skills during formal education, but also in younger generations, as academic curricula are still not adjusted to the needs of digital future which is coming faster than we have expected, mostly due to speeded digitalization as a consequence of global Covid-19 pandemic).
We now plan to continue with PR activities to stress the urgent need for taking action and supporting women on the road to becoming digitally literate and equipped with knowledge and skills needed for the jobs in the age of automation. Upon finishing the campaign, we plan to start implementing the project of spreading digital literacy among women across whole Serbia.