Women | Tools | Technology

The three winning entries for the global competition, Women | Tools | Technology: Building Opportunities and Economic Power came from Bicycling Empowerment Network Namibia, Lua Nova Association, Brazil and the Solar Electric Light Fund, USA (working in Benin).

The winners were selected from 268 project entries from 67 different countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East. The public was invited to vote online for the three best solutions from a group of 10 finalists previously selected by an expert panel of judges for excelling in the areas of innovation, social impact and sustainability. Each recipient earned a prize of USD $5000.

The competition was launched by ExxonMobil and Ashoka Changemakers in January. ICRW is a partner and provides research on the ability of technology to forward the economic advancement of women in developing countries – to ensure the success of this challenge and its impact on improving the lives of women and their communities.

The winners will also be invited to participate in collaboration workshops hosted later this year by Ashoka’s Changemakers and ExxonMobil.

Visit Changemakers.com for more information.

The Winners:

Benin: Solar Market Garden

SELF pioneered the combination of solar water pumping and drip irrigation to create the Solar Market Garden. This two-village project demonstrates a reliable, economical and sustainable means of irrigation, enabling women farmers to grow crops during the annual six-month dry season for significant improvements in family income and nutrition. The scale-up will expand the project to 44 villages.

Brazil: Tecnologia ‘Construa sua vida’ (Build Your Life Technology)

Offers youth and women victims of sexual abuse, drug use and homeless mothers the effective social, economic and housing inclusion through a process which integrates formal and technical learning, income generation and housing, thereby strengthening them as active players in the inclusive and sustainable process.

Namibia: Geared For Change: Women Bicycle Mechanics

Training and equipping women to run community-based bicycle workshops has proven to be an entry level for women’s empowerment, positioning them as local transport technology experts in traditional male roles. Currently the employment of 45 women bicycle mechanics across Namibia leverages empowerment through access to income, affordable transport and new skills.