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Reliance Foundation Announces New Initiative to Help Bridge Gender Digital Divide in India

Photo: Facebook

Photo: Facebook

The idea of the initiative is to "source and scale" innovative programmes which can cater to economic and digital empowerment of women.

Reliance Foundation has partnered up with the U.S. Agency for International

Development (USAID), under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity

(W-GDP) Initiative, to bridge the gender digital divide in India.

The event, which was live streamed on Tuesday, saw several prominent attendees including Deputy Secretary of State of the United States Stephen Biegun and with special guest, Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States, and Deputy USAID Administrator Bonnie Glick.

The idea of the initiative is to "source and scale" innovative programmes which can cater to economic and digital empowerment of women.

"Global prosperity will remain out of reach if we exclude half the population. At the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), we believe investment in women is key to unlocking human potential on a transformational scale," said USAID's John Barsa.

The initiative supports approaches in the private sector which can close the gender digital divide, expand business opportunities and empower women. As part of this, W-GDP will work with Reliance to create India-specific solutions and incorporate past learnings into the new programme.

Facebook India head Ajit Mohan in 2019 had pointed out that only about 30-35% of Indian women have access to the internet. A report by The Tribune shows that gender divide in terms of use of internet and social media tilts mostly towards men in developing countries like India. Poor infrastructure, poverty and lack of education could be few of the many factors that have widened the gap.

In July, Jio also partnered up GSMA's Connected Women's Initiative to bridge gender gap in digital adoption and digital literacy in India. The motive behind the innovation was to provide more women in India with access to "life-enhancing digital services."