The GSMA, CARE and GDIP consortium selected to accelerate closure of the gender digital divide

The GSMA Foundation, CARE and Global Digital Inclusion Partnership (GDIP) are pleased to have been selected as the consortium partners to manage the Women in the Digital Economy Fund (WiDEF), a five-year $60 million initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). Launched by Vice President Kamala Harris in March 2023, WiDEF is a global pooled partnership aimed at closing the gender digital divide and has also received direct funding from Microsoft and the Government of Korea. USAID’s contribution to WiDEF draws from its Gender Equity and Equality Action (GEEA) Fund and reflects its continued commitment to women’s economic security and gender equality.

As the WiDEF managing consortium, the GSMA Foundation, CARE and Global Digital Inclusion Partnership (GDIP) will identify, directly fund and accelerate investment in proven solutions to close the gender digital divide – including women-led solutions, products, and tools – thereby improving women’s livelihoods, economic security and resilience.

The consortium partners bring to their implementation role deep experience in women’s empowerment and in digital rights and inclusion, a history of supporting innovation, and networks with key public and private sector stakeholders. Employing a strong localisation approach, the consortium will lead WiDEF in creating opportunities for organisations and businesses at the forefront of equitable digital inclusion to receive financial, technical and operational support to advance their work in one or more of the five focus areas of the fund: (i) access and affordability, (ii) products and tools, (iii) literacy and skills, (iv) safety and security and (v) data and insights. The first application round will be announced in early 2024.

Working together, the GSMA Foundation, CARE and GDIP will collaborate with industry-leading organisations to effectively engage local and global private sector actors and funders to advance a shared set of commitments to closing the gender digital divide. Beyond direct delivery, they will ensure that WiDEF facilitates partnerships with diverse stakeholders, shares insights through a community of practice and incorporates a substantial policy and advocacy component to inform and influence action at every level of the development system.

Advancing access to digital technology for all women and girls is critical to ensuring everyone has access to economic opportunities and advancement, government services, education, healthcare and the platforms and tools needed to participate in our increasingly digital world.

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About CARE

Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading organization working around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice. CARE puts women and girls at the center of our work because poverty cannot be overcome until all people have equal rights and opportunities. This year, CARE and partners worked in 111 countries implementing 1,600 poverty-fighting development and humanitarian response projects and initiatives that reached more than 174 million people.

About GDIP

The Global Digital Inclusion Partnership is a coalition of public, private, and civil society organizations working to bring internet connectivity to the global majority and ensure everyone is meaningfully connected by 2030. Founded by a global team of experts who successfully championed affordable and meaningful connectivity around the world, GDIP advances digital opportunities to empower and support people’s lives and agency, leading to inclusive digital societies.

About GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation

The GSMA Mobile for Development Foundation, Inc. (‘The GSMA Foundation’) brings together mobile operators, innovators, governments, and the international development community to demonstrate the positive social, economic and climate impact of mobile technology on underserved and vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries.

With funding from donors and the GSMA, the GSMA Foundation runs thematic programmes to advance digital inclusion and financial inclusion – with a strong focus on gender –, climate action, humanitarian response, and investment in innovative digital solutions. Since 2007, these programmes have impacted the lives of over 220 million people.

For more information on USAID’s work on these issues, please visit the Women in the Digital Economy Fund website and the Women and the Digital Economy Initiative Fact Sheet.

For more information about the consortium, please contact:

CARE: Lucie Cregeur, Lucie.Cregeur@care.org

GDIP: Kenneth Dimalibot, Kenneth@globaldigitalinclusion.org

GSMA: Rosie Leary, rleary@gsma.com

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