Over the last year, our global community has rallied around the crucial issue of women's digital inclusion through the WWW: Women Weave the Web Campaign. You have shown us why digital access is key to empowerment, why the tech sector should be more responsive to the needs of women around the world, and why women must be on the front lines of this conversation. To empower our community to continue speaking out on this issue, we offered you two unique opportunities to create an even stronger ripple effect with the incredible work you are doing. We are now proud to announce and acknowledge the powerful community leaders who have been selected!
Lynn Syms Prize
Zephaniah of Pakistan has been selected as the winner of the Lynn Syms Prize for her initiative, Zephaniah Free Education, which seeks to educate and empower women through both formal education and skills training. Her organization has taught over 500 girls and empowered 100 more. She attributes much of her success to the use of digital tools—from World Pulse to YouTube—which helped her inspire supporters, share success stories, and fundraise. Zephaniah will be awarded US $20,000 and a trip to New York to support the mission and growth of Zephaniah Free Education. The 2014 Lynn Syms Prize, in partnership with sculptor and philanthropist Lynn Syms, seeks to recognize an outstanding grassroots woman and visionary voice using digital tools to effect change and advance her community work.
What makes us different from other organizations is that [everything] is done by a single girl who proved that only one girl can change thousands of lives. —Zephaniah
Beyond Access Member Team
We are also excited to announce a new World Pulse/Beyond Access Member Team! Iffat Gill's ChunriChoupaal is a non-profit organization based in Pakistan that works with women leaders to use digital media for social and economic progress. As a Beyond Access Member, ChunriChoupaal is exploring opportunities to collaborate with a local library in Layyah, Pakistan to offer technology trainings and other activities. Beyond Access is a global initiative of people and organizations that believe libraries help drive positive social and economic change. With more than 30 Member Teams and community development projects in 10 countries, Beyond Access aims to strengthen the role of libraries in tackling issues that range from literacy and livelihoods to broad-based information access for all.
We would like to see and experiment how libraries can be [revived] as a safe and inviting place for women, especially in areas where women's mobility is a challenge.—Iffat Gill