Bridging the Digital Divide on International Women’s Day

For International Women’s Day, we are pleased to share some of the International Women’s Day events MEDA staff will be participating in. This year’s theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality.” We encourage you to join us where possible. We hope that our International Women’s Day content and events will give you some useful insights that will shape your thoughts about how we can advance gender equality, at home and beyond.

The number is staggering – USD $1 trillion is the amount of money that has been lost because of the exclusion of women of lower and middle-income countries from the digital economy. This number is expected to increase to $1.5 trillion if action is not taken.

For this year’s International Women’s Day, the theme is “DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality.” This year’s theme is significant because it focuses on a core aspect of women’s economic empowerment: using technology and digital education to improve gender equality.

To raise awareness of this critical issue and to do our part to help fulfill the Sustainable Development Goals and support more decent work opportunities for women entrepreneurs, we’re pleased to feature several events that will throw a much-needed spotlight on women’s economic empowerment issues.

Upcoming International Women’s Day events

EventDateSpeakersAbout
Knowledge is Power: Leveraging Technology for Gender EqualityMarch 7th, from 11 am – 1 pm ESTJennifer Denomy, MEDA’s Technical Director, Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI), Lydia Le-entuo Dogee, GESI Manager from MEDA’s GROW2 project in Ghana, Patricia Nyasuna, Gender & ICT Policy Advocacy Officer, Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET), Maria L Mor, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Development at Pro Mujer, and Simon Tang, Business Development Officer for Amplio Ghana.This seminar will explore how innovative, inclusive technology solutions are overcoming the digital gender divide, promoting women’s leadership, and increased decision-making in health, land rights, agriculture, and entrepreneurship. This panel will further illustrate how technology unleashes women’s potential.
Devex Leader Roundtable: The Women CEOs EditionMarch 7th at 12 pm ESTDr. Dorothy Nyambi, President and CEO, MEDA, Caroline Anstey, CEO, Pact, Gina Lagomarsino, CEO, Results for Development, and Kate Warren, EVP & Executive Editor, Devex (and moderator)The speakers will discuss feminist leadership, navigating male dominated workspaces as an executive, how localization has influenced leadership priorities, and their thoughts about the future of work and workplace culture.
Using Data to Close the Gender GapMarch 8th, from 8:30 – 9:30 am ESTMEDA’s Senior Vice-President, Strategy and Impact, Lindsay Wallace, will be moderating a virtual executive panel. This event will include Veronica Herrera, Chief Executive Officer, MiCredito, and Petronella Chigara Dhitima, Program Leader, Toronto Centre.The panel will discuss strategies to deepen women’s access to finance, the value of data collection and analysis for financial supervisors and financial service providers, and how to further close the gender gap in finance.
Technical Assistance for Advancing Impact in Emerging and Frontier MarketsMarch 8th, from 12 pm – 1 pm ESTRegina Nyakinyua, Technical Specialist, Impact Investment  will be a speaker alongside Mariano Larena, CEO Symbiotics Association for Sustainable Development, Rachel Murphy, Impact and Gender Officer for Deetken, and Sumaiya Sajjad, Head of Technical Assistance Facility, FinDev Canada.Organized by CAFIID, this panel will discuss how impact investors use technical assistance to support their investees to improve business performance, de-risk investments, and drive impact. CAFIID has brought together institutional and private sector experts to share how they use technical assistance to achieve financial, impact, and gender objectives.
Other MEDA project events taking place around the world
MEDA Ghana GROW 2 International Women’s Day eventMarch 8thEmilia, a GROW client will be a speaking, along with Nibebiir, Emilia’s husband, Mollee, a community leader, and Ms. Bushira Alhassan, the Director of Northern and Savannah Regional Departments of Gender.The International Women’s Day event will take place in Damango, Ghana and will be attended by men and women from the community, and government officials from the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Department of Gender, and Ghana Health Services.
The event will consist of an interactive theater piece, a panel discussion with government officials, and a GROW 2 presentation focused on the technologies it promotes. Clients from the GROW 1 project will also discuss the impact of the technology on their lives and their businesses. Lastly, there will be a technology demonstration by a supplier.
The IWD event explores how digital technology positively impacts women’s lives, by freeing up women’s time to earn money. It will also explore how technology can help improve women’s relationships with their partners by encouraging men to support women with domestic responsibilities.
Nigeria WAY Project International Women’s Day eventMarch 10th at 4 am ESTMEDA businesswomen clientsThis event will include live radio discussions and a Zoom meeting hosted by Women in Business Forum (WIBFo). The participants of this event will include nearly 20,000 women clients who will discuss digitization’s importance in the 21st century and how tools like mobile phones and personal bank accounts can contribute to business growth and development.

The discussions will focus on engaging women and men to discuss the barriers women face to owning mobile phones and opening bank accounts and solutions to this problem. Members of the public, WIBFo staff, MEDA’s local partner, and MEDA staff members will attend this event.
MEDA projects Ethiopians Motivating Enterprises to Rise in Trade and Agri-Business (EMERTA) and Resilience and Inclusion through Investment for Sustainable Agrikultura (RIISA) March 2nd- March 27thMEDA staff and clientsEvents include an upcoming summit, International Women’s Day parade, seminars, and GESI and human rights training with partner cooperatives in Ethiopia and the Philippines.

Some other great reads

Here are some other interesting reads for those who are looking to learn more about our women economic empowerment work:

MEDA is fully committed to supporting its clients to make their businesses more gender-equitable. Building a gender lens into all its projects is critical in enabling MEDA to deliver decent work for businesses and farmers in the agrifood market system and create or sustain jobs for 500,000 people by 2030.

Stay in the loop: Follow, like, and subscribe to our channels to read and watch more engaging content for International Women’s Day! And also, check out MEDA’s Storehouse to read more interesting content.

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  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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