Reliance Foundation and the US Agency for International Development (USAID), on Wednesday, announced the launch of ‘WomenConnect Challenge’ India round two to narrow the gender digital divide and empower women in India.
Under this initiative, Reliance Foundation will provide up to Rs 10 crore in grants for up to 10 organisations (up to Rs 1 crore for each grantee) to implement innovative solutions over 12-15 months, according to a joint statement released by Reliance Foundation and USAID.
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. This aims to identify and support solutions that bridge the gender digital divide in India. Round One of WCC India began in August 2021 with the selection of 10 grantee organisations that are implementing solutions in 17 Indian states. Over 3 lakh women and girls will have benefited from the initiatives of the first round.
WCC India will accept applications for Round Two until 11.59 pm IST, 14 November 2022, from eligible organisations.
Emphasising the importance of women’s access to digital technologies in their empowerment journey, Nita Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, of Reliance Foundation, said, “We have seen how digital technologies can empower women and amplify the positive ripple effect of their transformation. Enthused by the outcomes of the first round of WomenConnect Challenge India, we are stepping up our commitment to bridging the gender digital gap with the second round of the challenge, in partnership with USAID. With India set to have one billion smartphone users by 2026, it is important that women’s access also increases in proportion to this surge. When women rise, they help families flourish, communities grow, and nations prosper.”
USAID Mission Director in India, Veena Reddy, said, “Investing in women and girls is essential to transforming communities and nations. This collaboration will support new pathways for women and girls in India to engage with technology, counter outdated social norms, and increase their economic independence.”
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