Digital technologies are revolutionizing the way we access information, financing, and networks—all critical tools for fully participating in the global economy. Yet, these technologies, most notably internet connectivity and mobile phones, are not reaching all people equally. There is still a persistent gender digital divide between men and women.

Yet when women are economically empowered, they re-invest in their families and communities, spurring economic growth and contributing to global peace and stability.

Once men are educated about online workforce opportunities for women, they often become supportive of technology access due to the increased family income. In turn, a woman’s financial gains allow her to have more liberty and be able to afford additional internet access, educating and empowering her further.

$2 Million Global WomenConnect Challenge

Round three of the WomenConnect Challenge is a global call for solutions to improve women’s participation in everyday life by meaningfully changing the ways women access and use technology. Through bridging the gender digital divide, and meaningfully changing the ways women and girls access and use technology, we remove a barrier to women being able to reach their full economic potential.

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USAID will provide four grants of $500,000 each towards advancing women’s digital development based on these four requirements:

  • Building upon Proven Strategies. Applicants will be required to base their interventions on known and tested Proven Strategies that have closed the gender and technology gap.
  • Private Sector Participation. Applicants will be required to include a private sector partner commitment letter in their application willing financially match 100% of the USAID contribution.
  • Reach at least 1 million women, 18 and above. Applicants should be able to show how they will take proven concepts and scale them ambitiously to meet project targets.
  • Pathway to Sustainability. Applicants need to explain their long-term plans to reach scale and viability to develop into long-term, self-sustaining projects and businesses.

Apply Now: Deadline is November 6, 2020

$1.3 Million India WomenConnect Challenge

The India WomenConnect Challenge from USAID and Reliance Foundation is call for new approaches that close the gender digital divide, expand business opportunities, and empower women in India.

Reliance Foundation will fund up to 10 projects with $130,000 as decided by the judging panel. Proposals must include three out of the following five proven strategies to close the gender digital divide and increase women’s economic empowerment:

  • Break Social and Cultural Perceptions: Change behavior and perspectives of those in power, such as men, community and religious leaders, and elders.
  • Develop Tech or Online Job Opportunities: Train women on using technology so women can access increased economic opportunities, from serving as community technology leaders to entrepreneurs.
  • Build Confidence: Targeted programs to help women address gender stereotypes in their communities, learn to use technology, and feel empowered.
  • Grow Community Advocates: Support women to communicate with local leaders and champion issues disproportionately affecting women such as gender-based violence and access to finance or government programs.
  • Design Creative Women-Centric Technology: Technology options tailored to women in developing countries, many of whom are illiterate or have low literacy levels.

Apply Now: Deadline is November 6, 2020

More Grant Funding Opportunities

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Apply Now: 1,500,000€ for Tech-Enabled Sustainable Urban Development