The volume is rising! Last week at the Clinton Global Initiative annual meeting, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced our partnership with Intel to bridge the digital divide for five million women and girls in Africa. World Pulse and Intel will collaborate on the ‘She Will Connect’ program, Intel’s initiative to reduce the significant gender and technology gap around the world, a fact highlighted in the company’s “Women and the Web” report released last January.
This CGI commitment comes at a time when women in developing nations face a 25-40% gap in access to the Internet and the economic and social opportunities it can enable. Intel’s initiative aims to reduce the digital divide for women in Africa by 50 percent over the next three years.
“We are proud to partner with Intel on this transformative project,” said Jensine Larsen, World Pulse founder and CEO. “While the Internet has changed billions of lives around the globe, millions of women and girls are still being left behind. But we can take action and provide millions of young women with the digital skills and platform they need to participate in the global dialog and economy to find their voices and transform their lives.”
World Pulse, the leading global network using the power of digital media to connect women worldwide, will collaborate with Intel’s team to integrate World Pulse’s digital empowerment training into the company’s existing digital literacy programs and provide a supportive peer network through their online platform. The World Pulse platform will enable women to exchange ideas, find support and mentorship, and obtain relevant content tailored to women. Intel also will support the creation of World Pulse’s Next Generation platform, set to launch in late 2014, that will connect millions of grassroots women leaders all in an effort to drive rapid, sustainable global change.
“In our research we found that women often place great value on the benefit of strong relationships created online with other women,” said Renee Wittemyer, Intel’s director of Social Impact. “World Pulse’s network of women around the globe will address some of the barriers to getting women online by making the Internet engaging, convenient, and a source of community support. We look forward to an excellent partnership.”
Still, a majority of these grassroots women leaders remain isolated and invisible. “Without a forum or access to vital information and resources the organizations that serve them need to be more interconnected so that we can effectively harness their collective power,” added Larsen. “Our growing global network is helping to do just that by providing an interactive platform on which they can speak out and connect whether they’re using Internet cafes or cell phones from rural villages to urban cities.”
Through the World Pulse platform, women will have access to a safe, secure and supportive online peer network of women from 190 countries where they can share ideas and stay connected; relevant content through regional and topic hub-pages; ongoing opportunities for scholarships, training, mentorship and more through the Resource Exchange; training in digital empowerment and citizen journalism; and opportunities to have their voices channeled to key media and decision-making forums like CNN and the UN.
We believe that when women are heard, they will change the world. We are honored to provide the communications platform that will sustain women’s engagement and empowerment online once they are trained in basic digital literacy skills through Intel. We look forward to sharing with you our impact as we work together to close the technology gender gap in Africa and around the world!