With Free Coding Lessons, Japnit Ahuja Is Closing Digital Gender Gap

While Japnit Ahuja loved coding, she noticed its male-dominated landscape placing barriers on women in STEM. This led her to start Go Girl, a nonprofit organisation which teaches girls coding for free.

Tanya Savkoor
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japnit ahuja

Embarking on an offbeat journey of change and empowerment, Japnit Ahuja took her passion for programming and turned it into a beacon of hope for underprivileged girls in India. At the age of 16, she founded Go Girl Organisation, an initiative to teach girls coding for free in their native language. Ahuja's mission to technologically empower girls was inspired by her own experiences as a young girl aspiring to get into STEM. Disappointed to find herself in an ‘all boys club’, she decided to drive the change and encourage more women into the field. 


Through her work, she has touched the lives of over 2,000 girls from less fortunate or rural societies. 23-year-old Ahuja leads a team of about 100 volunteers who are making technological advancements accessible by providing affordable and easily graspable lessons.

Love For Ones And Zeros 

Years ago, a young Japnit Ahuja from Delhi was thoroughly intrigued by the source code that built Facebook. Her fascination with the program kickstarted her adventure with technology and software development. The little genius started learning how to code when she was in grade six, inspired by the stories of young prodigies around the world.

japnit ahuja

“At that time, nobody I knew knew how to code. So it was just a private hobby,” Ahuja, now based in Canada, told SheThePeople in an interview. “I used to make these stupid-looking websites and wait for my dad to come home so I could show him. He used to tell me about these 15 to 16-year-olds working at NASA at the time and I always got inspired by their stories."

Being A Girl In A Male-Dominated Space


When Ahuja got to the eighth grade, her passion grew stronger and she knew she wanted to pursue a career in software engineering. That was when she found out about a computer club through a friend. While Ahuja expected the club to be an exciting space with like-minded individuals, she was let down by the fact that she was the only girl.

“It was very hard for me to say anything in a room full of boys. There was no common ground between us and they were all older than me as well, like three to four years older. So I always felt like I didn't want to take up that much space in the room. So I never said anything. I always wanted to leave the club because I just didn't feel comfortable there.”

While Ahuja tried to get more girls to join the club, she realised that the lack of representation made them apprehensive to set foot in the world of tech. Realising how women feel discouraged because of inadequate support, she started coding workshops for women by women when she was in grade 12. That was how Go Girl was born eight years ago.

Coding For Women By Women

With the support of other nonprofits, Ahuja’s venture now reaches government schools and rural areas to provide girls with up-to-date technology and teach them coding for free in their native languages. The most important part– the team also encourages more girls to pursue higher education in STEM and be digitally empowered.

japnit ahuja

Japnit Ahuja earned a fully paid scholarship from the Singapore government to study at the coveted National University of Singapore and then another scholarship from the Ontario Tech University in Canada. While based in Toronto, she is leading a team of changemakers in India who are taking Go Girl to various States across the country. 

“Technology is changing the world in more ways than ever and we need more female representation at the table to make decisions for the women population,” Ahuja emphasised. “My goal is to fill the digital gender gap in India. I want to make sure technology is a resource to women and not a barrier to accessing basic things.”

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