Digital technology has revolutionized the world by providing instant 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 greater 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, President Advisor Ivanka Trump and Deputy Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) 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 effort to economically empower 50 million women in the developing world by 2025. By investing in women, USAID aims to enable countries to progress beyond assistance by unlocking human potential on a transformational scale.
The W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge seeks to bridge the gender digital divide so that women can fully participate in the global economy. USAID will disburse approximately three grants globally. 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.
To learn more and apply to the W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge go to the WomenConnect Challenge Application Platform and download and read the Request for Applications (RFA) available in the Downloads section. The W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge is open to registered US or non-US organizations regardless of type.
If you have questions about the RFA, submit them here by June 17 at 12pm ET. Make sure to submit your WomenConnect Challenge application by July 26 at 12pm ET.