REWIRED pilot project readies women OFW returnees for jobs in STEM


BRIDGE Program x Connected Women

[Press release]

BRIDGE Program x Connected Women

Manila, the Philippines — A joint pilot project between the Bridging Recruitment to Reintegration in Migration Governance (BRIDGE) Program and Connected Women promises to help women Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) returning to the Philippines, including those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, get a foot in the door of the digital economy.

Reintegrating Women through IT Reskilling and Education (REWIRED) builds on Connected Womens flagship program Elevate AIDA (Artificial Intelligence Data Annotation), and will train 50 OFW returnees and would-be returnees in artificial intelligence (AI) data labeling to equip them with skills for remote work. The pilot project will run from March to August 2022. The program includes 2 webinars and a 3-week training program. The introductory webinar scheduled on 23 March 2022 will tackle the opportunities for OFWs in the digital economy and how you can upskill and re-skill for freelancing, remote work, and microwork.  The second webinar will discuss industry-specific tools that are used for data labeling.

A survey commissioned by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in 2020 among OFWs returning amid COVID-19 found that female OFWs were less likely to receive overall repatriation support” than their male counterparts. In fact, a United Nations policy brief indicated that the pandemics compounded economic impacts are felt especially by women and girls who are generally earning less, saving less, and holding insecure jobs or living close to poverty.”

Promoting the dignified return, and sustainable and gender-responsive reintegration of migrant workers is one of the objectives of the BRIDGE Program funded by the Migration Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) and jointly implemented by IOM, the International Labor Organization, and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). This is in line with Objective 21 of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration (GCM), of which the Philippines is a champion country.

We chose a pilot project related to Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) because women tend to be underrepresented in these sectors,” said Catherine Torres, UN Womens BRIDGE program officer. So we are hitting two birds with one stone: helping women acquire portable skills they can use whether they choose to remigrate or stay home for good, and helping to carve a bigger space for women in the male-dominated digital sector.”

Lucinda Pike, Executive Director of Enrich HK said We are delighted to partner with Connected Women and BRIDGE through the Elevate AIDA programme to equip migrant domestic workers with skills and alternative pathways to income, ensuring successful return and reintegration in the Philippines.”

Connected Womens CEO and Co-Founder, Gina Romero, welcomed the opportunity to work with BRIDGE on the pilot project. As a daughter of a former Filipino Overseas Worker, this initiative is very close to my heart. We are grateful for this collaboration to ensure no woman is left behind in the future of work.”

For more information:
Alexandra Suplido
Programme Assistant, BRIDGE UN Women Philippines