Google.org pledges Kshs 2.7b to empower women and girls in Africa

Written By: Claire Wanja

Each beneficiary will receive funding ranging from Sh32.8 million ($300,000) to Sh219.3 million ($2 million) with each organisation selected receiving capacity building support and mentoring from Googlers.

Google.org has announced Kshs 2.7 billion in cash grants for the Google.org Impact Challenge (GIC) focused on women and girls’ economic empowerment in Africa.

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The cash grants to be given to non-profits and social enterprises enable them create pathways for  women to achieve their full economic potential and thrive.

These enterprises have until Friday, 2 April at 11:59pm GMT to submit their applications where an all-female panel of expert Google executives, world leaders, researchers, educators, business leaders, entrepreneurs, activists and more will preside over the application review and selection process.

Agnes Gathaiya, Google Kenya Country Director says they are looking for applications from organisations that advance all-round economic empowerment on programmes that address systemic barriers to economic equality, to cultivating entrepreneurship, developing financial independence and more.

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“Building on our previous work in gender equity with grantees like the National Domestic Workers Alliance, Laboratoria and GiveDirectly, in the past five years, Google.org has given over Sh6 billion ($55 million) in cash grants to non-profit organisations that support gender equity and access to opportunity for women and girls around the world,” said Ms Gathaiya.

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Each beneficiary will receive funding ranging from Sh32.8 million ($300,000) to Sh219.3 million ($2 million) with each organisation selected receiving capacity building support and mentoring from Googlers.

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“We have a collective responsibility to ensure that generations of women and girls from all walks of life, no matter their race, sexual orientation, religion or socioeconomic status live in a world where they are treated equally and can realise their full potential,” Ms Gathaiya said.

This gives women and girls the tools, resources and opportunities to turn their potential into power changes their economic trajectory while benefiting their communities.

In a statement, Google observed that despite years of major gains made in women empowerment, disparity between men and women had worsened due to the global pandemic.

According to the Foresight Africa report 2021 in Africa, women and girls have largely borne the brunt of the pandemic, as the virus has exacerbated already-existing gender inequalities, laying bare serious fault lines in safety, physical and mental health, education, domestic responsibilities and employment opportunities.

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Ms Gathaiya added that job cuts, income losses and lack of education were not only side effects of the pandemic but will prevent economic strides for women and girls for many years to come.

The GIC for Women and Girls, follows initiatives like the 2019 Africa launch of Women Will, Google’s initiative to create opportunities for women and Google’s #IamRemarkable workshop series, work to counteract conditioning that women should not celebrate their achievements.

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