WomenConnect Challenge

THE PROBLEM

Technology offers a lifeline to critical health services and opportunities for education, civic participation, entrepreneurship, and access to financing that were once out of reach for many people.

Yet, just as digital technology is accelerating opportunities and impact all across the world, women are being left behind. Today, 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries still do not own mobile phones, and the gap between men and women using the internet has grown steadily over the past three years.

This digital gender divide is reinforcing the existing socioeconomic gaps between women and men.

USAID’S RESPONSE

Empowering women is at the heart of USAID’s development work. As USAID Administrator Mark Green noted at the 2017 Global Entrepreneurship Summit, “Our very future depends upon ensuring that women have the tools and the opportunities that they need that give them and us a real chance to thrive.”

USAID’s WomenConnect Challenge will identify and accelerate solutions that bridge the digital gender divide and empower women and girls to access and use digital technology to drive positive health, education, and livelihoods outcomes for themselves and their families.

WOMENCONNECT CHALLENGE MODEL

WomenConnect has launched a global call for solutions designed to close the gender digital divide. It is designed to spark a global conversation about the issue and lead to a broad range of solutions. USAID will test the promising pilot approaches, supporting their development through technical assistance and financial support, and finally scale proven solutions for maximum reach and result. WomenConnect will follow this timeline:

  • Stage 1: Identifying and Testing Solutions: Starting March 2018
  • Stage 2: Transitioning Proven Solutions to Scale: Starting January 2019

ARE YOU READY TO BE PART OF THE SOLUTION?

For more information and to join us in empowering women all across the world through this exciting opportunity, please visit www.usaid.gov/wcc or contact womenconnect@usaid.gov.

Last updated: April 27, 2018

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