Reliance Foundation announces WomenConnect Challenge India grantees

By ANI | Published: September 28, 2021 04:11 PM2021-09-28T16:11:24+5:302021-09-28T16:20:03+5:30

Ten organizations across India have been selected as grantees through the WomenConnect Challenge India, launched by Reliance Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Reliance Foundation announces WomenConnect Challenge India grantees | Reliance Foundation announces WomenConnect Challenge India grantees

Reliance Foundation announces WomenConnect Challenge India grantees

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Ten organizations across India have been selected as grantees through the WomenConnect Challenge India, launched by Reliance Foundation and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Through this initiative, over Rs 11 crores (over USD 1.5 million) has been invested to help close the gender digital divide and of this, Reliance Foundation has supported Rs 8.5 crore (over USD 1.1 million) in grants for projects for creating innovative solutions to address the issue.

Over 3 lakh (300,000) women and girls across 17 states will benefit from initiatives to close the gender digital divide and increase women's economic empowerment through technology.

Speaking on the announcement, Nita M Ambani, Founder-Chairperson, RelianceFoundation, said, "It has been our mission to enable and empower women in every walk of life.When we launched Jio, we envisioned a digital revolution that will be an equal opportunityrevolution. Through Jio, we have been providing affordable connectivity across the length andbreadth of our country."

She further said, "Reliance Foundation has also been working in partnership with USAIDtowards bridging the gender digital divide in India. Technology is a powerful means to addressand eliminate inequality. I congratulate and welcome on board the ten winners of ourWomenConnect Challenge India on this journey of transformation."

The 10 grantees are Anudip Foundation, Barefoot College International, Centre for Youth andSocial Development, Friends of Women's World Banking, Naandi Foundation, ProfessionalAssistance for Development Action, Society for Development Alternatives, Solidaridad RegionalExpertise Centre, TNS India Foundation and ZMQ Development. The solutions address womenfarmers, entrepreneurs, members of Self-Help Groups to address social and cultural barriers tobridge the gender digital divide.

The WomenConnect Challenge India was launched in August 2020. From a pool of over 180applications, 10 organisations were selected with grants between INR 75 lakhs to 1 crore each(USD 100,000 - USD 135,000), for over a period of 12 to 15 months. In January 2021, USAID and Reliance Foundation jointly hosted a Solvers Symposium bringing together semi-finalists and external experts for capacity building while brainstorming on the gender digital divide in India.

Mobile internet awareness has been increasing each year among women. While in 2017 only19 per cent of women in India were aware of mobile internet; in 2020 this increased to 53 per cent. In terms of ownership, 67 per cent of women own a mobile phone compared to 79 per cent of men.

Through the years, initiatives by Reliance Foundation have aimed to bridge the digital divide. Through Reliance Jio, over 1.3 billion Indians saw a pan-India digital revolution that transformed lives. Today, Jio is the largest digital services company in India, and the second-largest in the world, with 120 million women Jio users, and the number is growing rapidly to bridge the digital divide.

The WomenConnect Challenge is a global call for solutions to improve women's participation ineveryday life by meaningfully changing the ways women access and use technology.

USAID has partnered with Reliance Foundation to support new approaches that close the gender digital divide in India and new grantees will focus on proven strategies from previous WomenConnect rounds to increase women's economic empowerment.

( With inputs from ANI )

Disclaimer: This post has been auto-published from an agency feed without any modifications to the text and has not been reviewed by an editor

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