TechWomen is an initiative of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs’ (ECA) mission is to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries by means of educational and cultural exchange that assist in the development of peaceful relations. As mandated by the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961, the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) works to build friendly, peaceful relations between the people of the United States and the people of other countries through academic, cultural, sports and professional exchanges, as well as public -private partnerships.
In an effort to reflect the diversity of the United States and global society, ECA programs, funding, and other activities encourage the involvement of American and international participants from traditionally underrepresented groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities and people with disabilities. Artists, educators, athletes, students, youth and rising leaders in the United States and more than 160 countries around the globe participate in academic, cultural, sports and professional exchanges.
In June 2011, TechWomen launched with 37 participants from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian Territories. In 2012, the program expanded to include women from Tunisia and Yemen. In 2013, the cohort doubled in size with the addition of women from Cameroon, Kenya, Libya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe. In 2015, expanded to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The 2017 TechWomen program included women from Pakistan. In 2019, the TechWomen program welcomed over 100 participants from 21 countries.