Google’s philanthropy arm Google.org has pledged $25 million to empower women and girls in Africa.
The pledge is to commemorate the 2021 International Women’s Day.
Google.org has opened call for applications for grant funding from its new Global Impact Challenge (GIC) to non-profits and social enterprises creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls in Africa.
According to the country director, Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, empowering women and girls in Africa to reach their full economic potential, and to thrive, is more critical now than ever before, as they bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The GIC for women and girls according to her is focused on changing the status quo, noting that job cuts, income losses and lack of education aren’t simply side effects of the pandemic, but will negatively impact the economic strides made by women and girls for many years to come.
“As economies and societies rebuild, we need bold new ideas that will propel us forward. We can’t afford to go back to the way things were, and we certainly can’t do it alone. If we lift up women and girls, the rest of the world will rise too,” Ehimuan said, stressing that, when women and girls have the tools, resources and opportunities to turn their potential into power, it not only changes the trajectory of their individual lives, but also strengthens entire communities.
Quoting the Foresight Africa report 2021, Ehimuan stated that the coronavirus has ‘exacerbated already-existing gender inequalities, laying bare serious fault lines in safety, physical and mental health, education, domestic responsibilities, and employment opportunities.’
”Despite decades of work aimed at achieving gender equality, the disparity between men and women not only remains, it is growing alarmingly, largely thanks to the global pandemic,” the report said.
Grantees, who will be announced later this year, are eligible to receive funding ranging from $300,000 to $2 million while selected organizations will also receive capacity building support and mentoring from Googlers.
Organisations have until Friday, April 2, 2021 to submit their applications at g.co/womenandgirlschallenge.
An all-female panel of expert Google executives and world business leaders, including the Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on SDGs, Victoria Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; Founder, Graça Machel Trust, Graça Machel and Kenyan information technology entrepreneur Juliana Rotich, will preside over the application review and selection process once applications closed.