Launched in 2018, the 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.
While most of the world is becoming increasingly connected, the gender gap in mobile Internet use in some countries is over 51 percent. Advancing women’s digital connectivity is a key component to ensuring women’s economic empowerment.
To date, USAID has awarded over $4.9 million to 16 WomenConnect Challenge grantees working to address barriers limiting women’s access to technology and to connect nearly 6 million women in 16 countries.
Learn more about the WomenConnect Challenge here.
Nine grants were distributed to organizations who demonstrated how technology can create new opportunities for women’s empowerment in communities where they have otherwise faced restrictions to technology access and use.
Three awards were made to organizations that created specific solutions to address digital and economic opportunities.
Four awards were made—and matched with funding from the private sector—to advance women's digital development. This round focuses on scale, replicability, and private sector partnership and investment to support emerging technologies and policies.
Ten awards have been made in this India-specific round of the WomenConnect Challenge, sponsored by USAID and the Reliance Foundation. The awardees are working to bridge the gender digital divide in India through local and culturally contextual innovative solutions.