WomenConnect Challenge Blog Series: Strategy 1 — Changing Social Norms and Cultural Perceptions

Date published: Jan. 20, 2022

This blog is part of the WomenConnect Challenge Blog Series: Introducing Strategies for Closing the Gender Digital Divide. USAID’s WomenConnect Challenge (WCC) is a global call for solutions to improve women’s participation in everyday life by meaningfully changing the ways women access and use technology. In the first round of the Challenge, WCC awarded nine grants to organizations working to identify and change the social and economic circumstances that keep women offline and under-empowered. Through close partnership with local awardee teams and community members, WCC has identified five proven strategies for closing the gender digital divide and increasing women’s empowerment. This blog explores one strategy at length.

“It can lead to stealing. Or promiscuous activities, drug abuse, rudeness, stubbornness, lies... 90 percent of the causes of immorality, bad behavior, attitudes of urban women are related to the internet.” This was one man’s justification for restricting his female family members from using the internet and mobile phones. “The internet will destroy their good upbringing and morality,” declared another young man. “We feel that the phone is a simple way to destroy a woman’s morality and alter her thoughts,” agreed yet another. 

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