Women with mobile phone

For many people, the mobile phone have meant new opportunities. Still women lack access to this technology in many parts of the world.

Photo: Ted Eytan, cc

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One woman – one mobile phone?

Published: 25 April 2013 Updated: 19 June 2014

At the end of 2012, Sida launched a global call for proposals with the aim to increase women and girls’ access to and use of ICT. Today, on the global International Girls in ICT Day, can we present the result.

Access to information and the ability to communicate are two crucial aspects of development in poor countries. For many people, the mobile phone – and the internet – have meant new opportunities for improving their living conditions. But in many parts of the world, women lack access to these new technologies. In Sub-Saharan Africa, only half as many women as men have access to internet. Globally, there are 300 million fewer women than men that have a mobile phone.

At the end of 2012, Sida launched a global Call for Proposals to increase women and girls’ access to and use of information and communication technologies, ICT. Today, on the global International Girls in ICT Day, we present the result.

The call resulted in more than 300 applications from all over the world. During the past months we have struggled to identify the most innovative, strategically relevant and achievable proposals. The five winners are:

  • Akirachix  – a local organisation of women technology nerds that introduces programming and new technology to young women in the slum areas of Nairobi.
  • Si Jeunesse Savait  – a local organisation in DRC using ICT to facilitate assistance to and to build the capacity of survivors of sexual violence and their communities.
  • Union of Ethiopian Women Charitable Associations – here we support the establishment of an information centre in the Ethiopian countryside, with the aim to improve the conditions for marginalized women to access education and increase their economic power.
  • Women’s Network Equality in Decision Making  – a network of women politicians in Albania that uses ICT, mainly the internet, as a tool to increase women’s visibility in politics prior to the 2013 elections.
  • World Wide Web Foundation  – aims to facilitate the creation of evidence based national ICT plans in low income countries. As a start they will gather gender disaggregated data on ICT, something which is currently lacking.

 “This is wonderful news!  We are thrilled to be selected from among so many strong proposals, and through Sida’s rigorous selection process”, says Sofia Latif, Development Manager at WWW Foundation.

The next step for Sida twill be to engage with the five selected applicants, with the aim to discuss their proposals and eventually sign an agreement of cooperation.

The International Telecommunications Union, ITU, has selected the fourth Thursday in April every year as a day of putting the spotlight on the potential of girls and women within the ICT sector. The day is celebrated from Brussels  to Katmandu  with seminars, ceremonies and essay competitions. While we do not arrange any such activities today, we are very happy to present these five ambitious projects.

Follow The Unit for Private Sector Collaboration and ICT on Twitter: #SidaICT4D


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