WomenConnect Challenge

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  • WomenConnect Challenge

  • WomenConnect Challenge

  • WomenConnect Challenge

The Gender Digital Divide

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.


Women's Global Development and Prosperity WomenConnect Challenge

At the 2019 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, USAID Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick announced $1.5 million in grant funding for 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 Challenge seeks to bridge the gender digital divide so that women can fully participate in the global economy.

Ivanka Trump, Deputy Administrator Bonnie Glick, and WGDP Grantees

Proven Impact

The WomenConnect Challenge was first launched by Advisor Ivanka Trump and USAID Administrator Mark Green on International Women’s Day in 2018. Since then, USAID awarded nine grantees that are working to address barriers limiting women’s access to technology and to connect nearly 1 million women in 12 countries.

We have seen how providing women with access to digital technology has effects far beyond a single individual. Women multiply the impact by reinvesting back into their families and communities. Advancing women’s digital connectivity therefore not only ensures their economic empowerment, but also builds global prosperity and peace.

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Last updated: October 08, 2019

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