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Helping Women Find A Place In The World
Published:  Oct 7, 2023 10:00 AM
Updated: 2:00 AM

A group of computing students, mostly from UOW Malaysia, thought up a way to end discrimination against women and made it into the Top 100 teams of the Google Developer Students Club's (GSDC) 2023 Solution Challenge.

They were also in the Top 10 at the Malaysia level of the challenge, dubbed Kitahack 2023.

This year's challenge required students to solve one or more of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals using Google technologies.

Their team, Ascent, chose Goal Target No. 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, and Goal Target No. 10.3: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.

Their solution, named NewHorizon, is a mobile application to connect refugee women to job opportunities related to skill sets learned from related NGOs such as WomenForRefugees.

With the participation of potential employers, NewHorizon doubles as a platform to raise general public awareness of refugees living in Malaysia.

To be powered by various Google Technologies such as Android and Firebase, NewHorizon is born out of the focus on the problem statement: “How do we upskill and empower refugee women to find sustainable forms of income?”

  • To ensure that NewHorizon will have a wide reach, Bahasa Malaysia was determined as one of the main language of the app.

  • The three main features of the app include a product catalogue to increase public awareness of products made by women refugees, a space for buyers to commission orders of such products while preventing exploitation, and a "Journey Storytime" section to increase public awareness of the refugee community and give refugees a platform to practise their linguistic skills as they tell their stories.

  • Only three other Malaysian teams made it into the Top 100 of the GSDC 2023 Solution Challenge.

  • The team Ascent includes UOW Malaysia students Abigail Teoh Shu Ling, Asriel Teh and Yang Xin Rong, while team member Sarah Ong Wen Hui is from Advance Tertiary College Penang.

Their adviser was Dr Wong Khang Siang, Programme Leader of the Department of Computing at UOW Malaysia KDU Penang University College.

This article is provided by UOW Malaysia KDU

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