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GEM-TECH Awards 2016: Finalists

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This annual award seeks to create a platform for advancing women's meaningful engagement with ICTs and their role as decision-makers and leaders within this sector. Join the conversation on Twitter using #GEMTECHAwards.


Category 1: Apply Technology for Women's Empowerment and Digital Inclusion  

Women's Network Equality in Decision Making

The Women's Network Equality in Decision Making is a nonpartisan, nonprofit, and nongovernmental organization founded in 2008 in Albania. It is the largest network of active Albanian women and girls from all political parties, civil society, business and media.

Their programmes include: Virtual Platform of Women in Decision Making; ICT manual "Politics 2.0" for women in politics which has trained 220 women from political parties, media and civil society on how to use ICT effectively; #Ilooklike social media campaign to break gender stereotypes; Media4Equality to raise women's voices in Media; and Women Experts, the first online database in Albania to connect women with public institutions, NGOs, journalists, and other media groups.

Nossas Cidades

Nossas Cidades is a Brazilian organization that promotes civic engagement through technological and activism tools. In May 2016, they built the Mapa do Acolhimento (translated to Safe Haven Map), an innovative project aiming to bring together women in response to sexual violence.

As a result of the Safe Haven Map, more than 450 therapists from 18 states have signed up to offer their free services to women who have been victims of sexual violence. The platform has received more than 25 000 unique visitors, with an average of 400 visits per day. As a result of these activities, the Safe Haven Map has created a network of more than 3 000 mobilized women who will help each other through the trauma caused by sexual violence.


Kanyashree ("Kanya" means daughter & "Shree" means prosperity) is an e-governance portal designed and implemented by the Department of Women Development, Child Development & Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal, India.

It is a Conditional Cash Transfer Scheme that seeks to reverse the high incidence of child marriage and low retention in education of girls between the ages of 13 to 18 years. Kanyashree is a means of financial inclusion and a tool of empowerment for adolescent girls. 3.3 million Girls are already enrolled in the scheme and 6.5 million cash transfers have been sanctioned. The technical design of Kanyashree Online 3.0 enables it to be nationally adoptable and scalable.

Aliadas en Cadena A.C.

Established in 2006, Aliadas en Cadena has over ten years' experience advancing women's empowerment in Venezuela by supporting low-income women through training programmes in ICT and technology workshops. They help unemployed women take control of their economic lives through computer training courses, employment skills, personal development, money management skills and support for business startups.

They have directly benefitted 20 452 women through computer training, ICT workshops and Entrepreneurial workshops. While women are completing their ICT course the participants also attend seminars on "Skills for Life" where the participants gain skills related to personal, social and economic empowerment.

WikiProject Women in Red

Wikipeida's WikiProject Women in Red (WiR), is a project to address the "content gender gap" online and to turn Wikipedia's "redlinks" (non-existent articles) into "bluelinks" (existing ones). The project aims to solve the problem of the systemic bias towards women's biographies, real and fictional, and their works on Wikipedia.  

They accomplish this by hosting edit-a-thons on various topics and promoting the objective via social media. The most important result of the work is the engagement across language groups to discuss and address the content gender gap. The Chinese, French, Persian, Catalan, and Italian language Wikipedia have replicated and scaled the Women in Red programme. 



Category 2 :​ Promote Women in the Technology Sector  

Girls in Tech

Girls in Tech (GIT) is a global non-profit focused on the engagement, education and empowerment of girls and women who are passionate about technology. Founded in 2007 to create a support framework to help women advance their careers in STEM fields, GIT aims to accelerate the growth of innovative women entering into the high-tech industry.

With headquarters in San Francisco and more than      50 000 members located around the globe, GIT relies on volunteer efforts to lead each of the 60 local chapters. The core programming focuses on Empowerment, Engagement and Education through numerous activities including practical training and bootcamps, hackathons, Amplify: Women's pitch night, mentorship, Girls in Tech WORK and Girls in Tech Xchange. 



TECHNOLOchicas is a collaborative project of the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) and Televisa Foundation designed to raise awareness among young Latinas in the United States (12-18) and their families to inspire them to consider a career in technology by presenting effective role models, broadening their perspective with site visits and empowering them with new technology skills.

TECHNOLOchicas includes a national multimedia campaign that presents the stories of five young Latinas with successful technology careers.  With over 3 000 public service announcements the campaign reached over 3 million Latina families in the US. The second component of the initiative includes after-school programmes in five US cities: Los Angeles, Palo Alto, New York, Boston and San Antonio.



VHTO, The Dutch National Expert Organisation on Girls/Women and Science/Technology, has been building knowledge about the participation of girls and women in the world of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), and has experience deploying this knowledge to increase the participation of women and girls in STEM education. VHTO contributes to breaking (implicit) stereotypes concerning gender and STEM, and to increase the self-confidence of girls and young women.

They use research-based interventions and develop them into a strong combination of activities for girls and women throughout the entire chain of education (from primary to higher and vocational education), training programmes for teachers and career advisers, and consultations with school and education managers. 





Laboratoria is a tech social enterprise that empowers young women by giving them access to education and work in the digital sector. They recruit women with great talent but limited economic opportunities and take them through an immersive 5-month full-time programme focused on coding, front-end web development and  personal development programmes. Upon graduation, they connect graduates with tech companies, where they begin transformational careers as web developers, significantly increasing their income and building a better future for themselves, their families and communities.

In less than 2 years, they have graduated over 200 coders in Peru, Mexico and Chile, with 70% of them starting a career in the tech sector within 3 months of graduation. Their average starting income represents a 3-fold increase compared to their earnings prior to Laboratoria. 

WAAW Foundation

Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation is an international non-profit organization founded in 2007. Headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria with an operational office in Texas, their mission is to increase the pipeline of African women entering into Science and Technology fields and to empower African women to become impactful leaders, change agents and technology innovators through STEM engagement.

Their programmes have impacted 21 000 secondary girls by college-to-secondary mentoring, they have awarded 31 College scholarships and they have trained 200 College fellows. WAAW operates 17 outreach and mentoring chapters in University campuses across 10 African countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Togo, Kenya, Uganda, Malawi and South Africa.  

Category 3:​ Develop Gender Responsive ICT Governance, Policy and Access  

Unidad de Gobierno Digital de la Secretaria de la Funcion Publica, Mexico

In 2013, the Federal Law of Telecommunications and Broadcasting was reformed to design a new legal, regulatory and competitive framework based on the principles of digital social inclusion. There are more than 65 000 public spaces providing free internet access to more than 18 million people and 75% of the public spaces are located in low-income municipalities in Mexico.

Through the government's website 23 731 female participants have enrolled in the Jefas de Familia Programme, which boosts women's empowerment by promoting tools and skills so they can start their own business, access financial support, scholarships, food and nutrition support among others.

World Wide Web Foundation

The World Wide Web Foundation (Web Foundation) expands access to the Internet through their programmes the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), TechMousso, and Women's Rights Online.

Working in partnership with over 160 organisations, they reach into 70 countries, affecting over 2 billion people. In the past two years, their work has changed policies and practices for the better in more than 10 countries.

They focus on three key dimensions of human rights online: expand access to the Web for the 60% of the planet who are still not connected; ensure that everyone's voices can be heard online; innovate to make knowledge and data freely accessible to all online.

Bangladesh Association of Software and IS (BASIS) Women's Forum

BASIS Women's Forum (BWF) is a membership and networking platform for women in the ICT sector in Bangladesh. This is an initiative of Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS) to empower women in the ICT sector.

Approximate statistics of the 700+ companies in the BASIS database show that of all the companies listed only 13% women work in the sector and only 3% hold an entrepreneurship or leadership position. To enhance women's participation they focus on raising social awareness, capacity building sessions, advocating for policy changes, networking platforms, resource mobilization and mapping and monitoring progress.  



Internet Governance in Middle East and North Africa (iGmena) is a Hivos programme focuses on two main objectives: Improved Knowledge on Internet Governance in the MENA Region; and Enhanced Legislation on Internet Policies in the MENA Region. They raise awareness of stakeholders to influence the decision-making process and play an active role in promoting and safeguarding Internet freedom in the local legislation.

The programme has trained over 250 women from the MENA region on the topic of Internet Governance and policy. A number of these women are involved in shaping policies at the local level or contributing to local coalitions which influence Internet policy making to maintain public interest.




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