USAID has partnered with Reliance Foundation to help bridge the gender digital divide in India. The USAID/Reliance Foundation WomenConnect Challenge (WCC) India supports new approaches that close this gap, expand business opportunities for women, and empower women to uplift themselves and their communities.
WCC India’s new grantees, announced in September 2021, will focus on WomenConnect proven strategies to close the gender digital divide and increase women’s economic empowerment in India through one of many ways: challenge social and cultural perceptions, develop skills and opportunities, build confidence, grow community advocates, and design creative women-centric technology.
Building on these findings, USAID and Reliance Foundation are sponsoring this joint program across India to incorporate these efforts into programs that are designed for specific community-based interventions.
"When women rise, families flourish, communities grow, and countries prosper. A truly developed world has to be an equal world." -- Mrs. Nita M. Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, Reliance Foundation
WCC India Winners:
- Anudip Foundation will train women from rural areas in five states on basic digital literacy skills and facilitate livelihood options by connecting them to digitally enhanced careers.
- Barefoot College International’s “Sakhi” application will enable non-formally educated women trained as solar engineers to sell solar products and provide subsidies and credit lines in their communities.
- The Centre for Youth and Social Development will support women in tribal areas of Odisha to become digitally empowered enterprise leaders through their “Banashree” application.
- Development Alternatives will build the capacity of neo-literate women in digital and entrepreneurial skills to ensure financial inclusion and economic independence in the Bundelkhand region.
- Friends of Women’s World Banking, India will train and mentor potential and existing micro-entrepreneurs in Gujarat, Manipur, and Maharashtra on the use of smartphones and the adoption of digital platforms to enhance livelihood opportunities.
- “SportStar” is an application being developed by Naandi Foundation for women field workers who will facilitate multi-sports learning, leadership skills, and access to nutritional information for underprivileged girls.
- In rural areas of Bihar, PRADAN will set up digital classrooms equipped with devices and internet to empower underprivileged women and girls through a curriculum on basic digital literacy.
- Solidaridad Network will work towards integrating women dairy farmers of Uttar Pradesh in the formal supply chain by digitally connecting them with milk collection centers, financial linkages, and advisory services.
- TNS India Foundation will facilitate trainings on the use of mobile phones and internet-based applications through community-based advocates for the women from low-income farming households in Rajasthan.
- ZMQ will develop and deploy a customized and localized edutainment-based mobile courseware. This will provide entrepreneurship training for women from self-help groups in rural Haryana.
USAID/Reliance Foundation WomenConnect Challenge India Media Release - September 28, 2021