Gender equality is a real fight in India, and we still have a long way to go before there’s actual equality of opportunity. However, this International Women’s Day, there is some good news for all those wishing for a change. Google.org has announced $25 million in grants, as well as additional support and unique help for NGOs and organizations which are aimed at empowering and uplifting women, especially in the tech world.
At a virtual event on Monday, Google released its new Impact Challenge, which aims at providing women all over the world with economic and financial equality. The applications for the same are open for a month, till the 9 of April, after which the ideas will be shared with the community, after which the winners will be announced.
The application criteria have been released on Google’s impact challenge website, from the process to how the organizations will be selected. The website specifies that the organizations are required to complete Stage 1, with information regarding their ideas and plans for equity. It also mentions that each selected organization will receive help specific to their aims along with grants between $300,000 and $2 million.
Partnered with NASSCOM Foundation, Google is aiming at bringing digital and financial literacy to 1 lakh women farmers in India, as well as empowering a million women entrepreneurs with its program “Women Will”. The Women Will program will begin with releasing videos and tutorials for business ideas and how to implement them on a website, that will be launched soon.
Additionally, the company is also working on new features for its Google Pay app, that will allow women entrepreneurs to show that their business is led by women, as well as providing an option for entrepreneurs to showcase their business website on the app itself.
The virtual event also marked the completion of Google’s Internet Saathi program, that was released in partnership with Tata Trusts in 2015, which had made efforts to instill digital literacy among rural women. According to reports by both Tata and Google, the program was a staggering success, and helped over 30 million women all over India.
Google has partnered with many organizations aimed at gender equity before now, like Laboratoria which trained thousands of women in digital skills from undeserved communities in countries such as Latin America, and Solar Sister, which encouraged women entrepreneurs to develop clean and renewable energy, to name a few.