WomenConnect Challenge

The Digital Gender Divide

Technology is revolutionizing the world by providing tools for entrepreneurship, access to critical health and education, and life-enhancing information. Today, 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries still do not own mobile phones, and the gap between the number of men and women using the internet has grown steadily over the past three years, resulting in a digital gender divide. This digital gender divide is reinforcing or even exacerbating existing socioeconomic gaps between men and women. By reducing this divide, women and girls will have access to information, networks, and services, driving inclusive economic growth and accelerating poverty alleviation.

The Solution: WomenConnect Challenge

The WomenConnect Challenge is a global call for solutions to improve women’s participation in everyday life by meaningfully changing the ways women and girls access and use technology. USAID seeks to identify and accelerate comprehensive solutions that empower women and girls to access and use digital technology to drive positive health, education, and livelihood outcomes for themselves and their families.

The main themes:

1.    Women’s access to technology is not an end, but a means to help address development objectives.

2.    There is a need to build evidence for approaches that are working.

3.    The scope of the digital gender divide requires local solutions that take into account complex cultural and socioeconomic factors.

Who Can Apply

The WomenConnect Challenge is open to registered US or non-US organizations regardless of type. Individuals are eligible to apply with demonstrated organizational partnerships. Government entities are not eligible to apply. All Applicants must use WomenConnect funds to implement a solution in a country with USAID presence.

Do you have an innovative and holistic approach or proposal on how to close the digital gender divide? Click below for more information on eligibility criteria and to apply.

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