Digital technology is revolutionizing the world by providing access to information, finance and networks — all of which are necessary for women to reach their full economic potential and create more self-reliant communities.
Today, 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries still do not own mobile phones. The internet user gender gap is more than 40 percent in some countries. The persistent gender digital divide is reinforcing, and even exacerbating, existing socioeconomic gaps between men and women.
Advancing women’s digital connectivity is key to promoting their empowerment in an increasingly digital world.
At the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick announced the second round of the WomenConnect Challenge under the White House-led Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) initiative. W-GDP is a U.S. Government wide effort to economically empower 50 million women in the developing world by 2025. By investing in women, USAID is enabling countries to progress beyond assistance by unlocking human potential on a transformational scale. USAID will disburse approximately three grants globally. The period of performance for each award is up to 24 months
The W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge seeks to bridge the gender digital divide so that women can fully participate in the global economy. Winning solutions will support the W-GDP’s three pillars:
- Advance workforce development and vocational education for women
- Provide access to capital, markets and networks for women entrepreneurs
- Remove restrictive regulatory, legal, workplace, and social barriers to enable women in the economy