The iamtheCODE movement, headed by the Senegalese programmer Mariéme Jamme, has the goal of teaching programming to one million girls in up to 12 years. The target is part of the 2030 agenda for the UN’s (United Nations) Sustainable Development Goals where Mariémme is a technology ambassador.

One of the ways iamtheCODE teaches programming is through a “digital club”: a space set up with technology equipment that operates for 12 weeks in schools and libraries with volunteers from the community itself. Another is using a kit with five-minute programming lessons.

The program is designed for boys and girls, but it focuses on female participation, which is still smaller in the technology and programming fields. The initiative has already trained 7,000 girls in over 50 countries, including Brazil. To reach the one million target, the initiative looks for support from governments and companies.

– 17% of Brazilian programmers are women (Serasa Experian and UN Women)

– 15% of those enrolled in technology courses in Brazil are women (Pnad)

– 28% of the world’s scientific research is conducted by women (Unesco)

– 5% of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences are women

– 3% of Nobel prizes in science have been awarded to women

“You can use programming to run a game. The program makes the character jump when you press the up arrow or walk when you press the right button. Thanks to the program, you press the green button to answer the call on the mobile phone.” Gustavo M., age 9

“I started studying programming in September of last year. I wish there were more girls in my class, because it would be nice to share this moment which everyone says is a guys’, but it is not really. If girls are unhappy with a game, they can make their own game by programming.” Lara M., age 9

What is programming?

Programming means to give instructions to computers, video games, and mobile phone, assigning tasks and determining how to carry out these tasks. These instructions are called codes, which are like blocks. For example, you are only able to access a website after clicking on the mouse, because the codes are setup in the right order.

What is it for?

Programming is present in our day-to-day and with its scientific advances, learning how to program as a child is the key to being able to create and not just use technology in the future.


1) Which of these is NOT a reason why iamtheCODE is focused on girls?

A) Because girls are not well represented in technology

B) To empower young girls and show them that they can also code

C) To fulfill the gender equality goal on the United Nations 2030 agenda

D) Because the founder of the organization is a woman

2) Explain why coding is important to us in our day-to-day.


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