On Wednesday, February 29, 2012, the Canadian Ambassador in Algiers, Mrs Geneviève des Rivières, attended the inauguration of the computer center. The Ambassador received a warm and traditional welcome in the presence of members of the National Union of Algerian Women (UNFA). Various activities were organized including a discussion session with women of the city of Hassi Messaoud about their challenges and achievements.
The UNFA is the first women's association created after the independence of Algeria. This association has offices in 48 provinces all over the country. The UNFA advocates for women's rights, fights violence against women and supports the participation of women in political life. The UNFA also takes care of disadvantaged children.
The UNFA has helped women play a greater role in Algerian society. They represent 55% of the medical profession, 60% of media professionals, 40% of judges and over 60% of teachers. The success rate of girls in school and their access to higher education have improved.
As part of the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI), the Canadian Embassy helped the UNFA of Hassi Messaoud, a city located 630 kilometers south of Algiers, with the establishment of a computer center and introductory computer training for women.
The center in Hassi Messaoud organizes various activities for women and children. It also runs a nursery which has around 60 children.
The computer center will enable women to access information of general interest, acquire special knowledge and useful skills for employment and productivity. Women will be able to play a more active role in modern society. Furthermore, the implementation of this center will also allow young children from an early age to learn computer skills.