This All-Female Coding School In Afghanistan Is Inspiring The Younger Gen. Of STEM Girls


There is a movement happening around the world to engage especially young women and girls in STEM industries. Given that our society is only going to continue to innovate, it only makes sense to ensure girls are part of the science, tech, engineering & math industries at the same rate as boys.

Right now there is a substantial gender gap, most notably in the tech world. In the US, the home to tech mecca Silicon Valley, there are a number of major tech companies whose data reveals women make up an average of only 30{1e5b5b8455e4fd0a501a0ba32c7b6cedbd9d99491662a4a0878218331661888d} of staff, and that number decreases when you look at specific leadership or engineering positions.

The lack of gender diversity becomes even more pertinent when we see the rate of demand for tech jobs is growing, but the positions are not being filled at an adequate rate in certain areas. Thankfully we are seeing a number of brands such as Google who have launched a number of initiatives to get girls excited about learning coding.

And smaller organizations such as Beverly Bond’s Black Girls Code, and Reshma Saujani’sGirls Who Code are getting in at the grass roots level while girls are in elementary school so they can be introduced to engineering and coding from a young age.


It’s not just brands and companies who recognize the need, there are everyday women who want to be part of the momentum to balance the gender scales in an industry that has been male-dominated since its inception. This Chicago mom turned her daughter’s love of science into a reason to serve low-income minority girls in her community to give them a chance to compete in one of the fastest-growing industries in the world.



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Big Thank You to our Friends at Deloitte for Impact Day

Outstanding effort from the Deloitte and Code to Inspire team’s, working together to help build ‪#‎Afghanistan‬ by building education centers that teach young women in #Afghanistan how to code so they can achieve financial empowerment by becoming programmers. A special thanks to our own Mark D’Agostino and Tyler Mulvihill for helping make this happen.


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Checkout Fereshteh’s podcast with tCode Newbie


Fereshteh Forough wanted to help women in Afghanistan. She knew that attaining education was difficult, let alone technical training, and the cultural attitudes towards women didn’t help. But she tackled these issues head on by starting the first coding school for women in Afghanistan. She talks to us about how she started the program, how she took on the different challenges her students face, and how her training in computer science and her previous role as a computer science professor affected her decision to open Code To Inspire.


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Women Change Maker; Fereshteh Forough on technology and cultural change


Fereshteh Forough – founder and CEO of Code to Inspire – is bringing hope, opportunity and empowerment to women and girls in Afghanistan, changing cultural norms along the way. She shares with Woman ChangeMAKER her efforts to educate female students in her homeland, improving their technical literacy and employment prospects, and breaking down societal barriers. Read more at

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First Coding School for Women in Afghanistan Receives $25k Google RISE Award




Code to Inspire ​Recognized by Google RISE Awards

First Coding School for Women in Afghanistan Receives $25k Google RISE Award

New York City & Herat, Afghanistan.  ­April, 22 2016​: Code to Inspire, a not-­for-­profit organization focused on teaching local Afghan girls in Herat how to code, announced today that they have received a 2016 Google RISE Award for its efforts to increase access to computer science (CS) education for youth.

CEO of Organization, Fereshteh Forough, said, “with Google’s support we will be able to continue our efforts teaching these young women how to code and with those skills they can empower themselves and their communities”. “This collective effort to inspire our next generation of technology innovators and creators will reach tens of thousands of students this year,” said Nicky Rigg, Google’s RISE Awards program manager. “We are excited to include Code to Inspire in our recent cohort of 28 organizations across 16 countries. Our RISE Awardees make up a community of passionate and vibrant educators and advocates; they are changemakers that engage, educate, and excite students about computing through extracurricular outreach.”

Code to Inspire currently has 53 students receiving daily lessons as part of a curriculum that teaches introductory concepts such as HTML, CSS to more advanced training like Mobile Application Development. Currently, 85{1e5b5b8455e4fd0a501a0ba32c7b6cedbd9d99491662a4a0878218331661888d} of women in Afghanistan have no formal education and are illiterate yet 80{1e5b5b8455e4fd0a501a0ba32c7b6cedbd9d99491662a4a0878218331661888d} have regular or casual access to a mobile device. Code to Inspire aims to empower young women by teaching skills that will help them find employment and build mobile applications that address local needs and challenges. With the support of partners like Google, the foundation will continue its work.

Code to Inspire is a nonprofit organization headquartered in New York City with operations in Herat, Afghanistan. Founded in January of 2015 by Fereshteh Forough and John Lilic, Code to Inspire currently has one school open in Herat, Afghanistan providing daily lessons to 53 girls high school or university girls. 

The Google RISE Awards is an annual grant program for informal education organizations around the world that promote computer science for K­12/pre-­university age youth. The program emphasizes participation from girls, youth in low ­income communities, and minorities who have historically been underrepresented in the field of computer science. Since 2010, the Google RISE Awards have contributed over $5 million dollars to 239 organizations across 28+ countries reaching over 850,000.


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