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Press Release:

2017 EQUALS in Tech Awards to honour innovative solutions to bridge the digital gender gap – finalists announced

Winners to be recognized 19 December at ceremony in Geneva

Geneva, 22 November 2017

​ITU and UN Women are pleased to announce the 15 finalists for the 2017 EQUALS in Tech Awards.  As the flagship event of the EQUALS global network partnership, the annual award ceremony recognizes outstanding projects and programmes around the world that help women and girls cross the digital divide.  

This year, nearly 300 nominations were received from around the globe. These included submissions from a wide range of organizations working to "bridge the digital divide" – including those representing the private sector, government and civil society.

The 15 finalists represent very innovative initiatives that have realized significant results in some of the areas of the world where women are most oppressed. The results of these initiatives have realized real change in the communities that they serve and have opened doors for women to critical digital financial and social benefits.   

Prizes are awarded for outstanding achievement and innovative strategies, in three categories: Skills, Access and Leadership.  

Nominations in the Access category represent initiatives seeking to improve women and girls' digital technology access, connectivity and security. Those in the Skills category support the development of women and girls' science, technology, engineering and math skills. Initiatives in the Leadership category promote women within the information and communication technology field – including decision-making roles. 

One winner from each category will be selected by a committee of experts from ITU, UN Women and the EQUALS Advisory Group – composed of previous awards winners. 

The 2017 EQUALS in Tech Awards ceremony is being held on 19 December 2017 at the UN Palais de Nations in Geneva, Switzerland – during the Internet Governance Forum. The event is open to all, though IGF registration is mandatory and must be done by 27 November for security reasons.

The event is kindly being held in partnership with: Internet Society, Government of Switzerland and Facebook.

2017 EQUALS in Tech Awards Finalists 

Skills Category

Digital Citizen Fund (Afghanistan/US) | Digital Opportunity Trust (Canada) | Pakistan Ministry of IT & Telecom (Pakistan) | She Codes (Israel) | Miss Africa Digital Program (Kenya) 

Access Category

African Teen Geeks (South Africa) | Safetipin (India)| Bangladesh Ministry of Planning (Bangladesh) | Lebanese Alternative Learning (Lebanon) | Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, West Bengal (India)

Learn more about each initiative of all finalists at


EQUALS is a ground-breaking global network delivered by a committed partnership of more than 50 companies, governments, non-profit organizations and academic institutions around the world working together to bridge the digital gender divide – by bringing women to tech, and tech to women – and in so doing, bettering the lives of millions worldwide. EQUALS partners are working to close the gap by 2030 – supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 by empowering women through their use of information and communication technologies. An action plan of data gathering, knowledge sharing and advocacy strengthening drives the EQUALS network partnership. To achieve these critical goals, partners focus on three core issues: Skills, Access and Leadership opportunities for women.