Information and communication technology (ICT) has changed the lives of billions of people across the world. But in many countries, women and girls are being left behind. Recent research (2012) by the technology company, Intel, found that nearly 25% fewer women than men living in developing countries have access to the internet. In sub-Saharan Africa, this number soars to nearly 45%. About 35% fewer women than men have access in South Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, and nearly 30% in parts of Europe and across Central Asia. Millions of women and girls are therefore excluded from information, ideas, opportunities and resources that could change their lives.
Public and community libraries present a huge opportunity to increase ICT access for women and girls. Known and trusted institutions, libraries can help address the social, cultural and economic reasons why women and girls are excluded. Close to communities, they can make access to ICT more affordable, convenient and secure for women and girls. Trained librarians can build confidence and skills so that women and girls overcome inhibitions about using technology. They can promote ICT to women and girls so that they understand its value and use it to improve their lives.
This Innovation Award is for public and community libraries offering any service or combination of services that use ICT to empower women and girls. See the text on the right for some examples.
Who may enter?
To enter the competition, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- You must be a public or community library.
- The library must be in a transition or developing country.
- You must use information and communication technology (ICT) to implement the service you are submitting.
- The service should have started after January 2010
- The service must be operational at the time of application.
When can you enter?
This call is open from 8th March 2013 to 8th May 2013. The deadline is 8th May
What will you win?
- Each winner will receive US$1,500; and
- International publicity – EIFL-PLIP will share your story widely through its publicity channels.
Number of awards
There will be more than one award – the number of award-winners will depend on the quality and diversity of applications received.