Daily CSR
Daily CSR

Daily CSR
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Connectivity & Technology Are Crucial For Women Empowerment


The government needs to pitch in for creating “digital infrastructure and securing internet access”, which will boost empowerment of the women, says Kahn.

Dailycsr.com – 29 November 2016 – The director of “Cherie Blair Foundation for Women’s Mentoring Women in Business Programme”, Allison Kahn, met with the “Global Risk Insights” for discussing the interaction between technology, women empowerment and mentoring:
“There is one crucial factor that affects whether we can sign up a prospective mentee – and that’s internet and mobile connectivity.”
When GRI asked if in some women were more open to signing up for “mentoring programmes” as oppose to others, while trying to find the reason behind it and discovering a link, if there is any, between the “readiness for women” to take part in mentoring programmes and the political scenario they live in; Kahn’s reply was:
“We receive extraordinary interest in our Mentoring Programme from women all over the world. I started working on the programme in 2012 and at that time we had just 100 mentees from six countries. Now, just four years later, we’ve supported over 2,000 mentees in more than 90 countries. I think this shows that mentoring has huge universal appeal for women entrepreneurs across the globe”.
While, entrepreneur’s profession can be a “lonely journey”, Kahn remarks that:
“It’s interesting that we have mentees from both Rwanda, which is the top-ranked developing country in the list, and Yemen, which is the lowest-ranked developing country.  We see that there is a strong appetite and need for mentoring in many different contexts and for women entrepreneurs at many different stages of business growth”.
According to Kahn mobile connectivity and internet plays a crucial role in recruiting a “prospective mentee”. Therefore, it is important that women have online access on a regular basis, as “Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber, WhatsApp” among other net based apps form the communication medium of the mentors and the mentees. Kahn adds:
“We recognise how important this connectivity is, both for participation in our programme and for broader access to information and services. There is definitely a role for governments to play in improving digital infrastructure and securing internet access for even the most remote communities. And they will also need to make sure that it is affordable. As a member of the Alliance for Affordable Internet, we try and raise awareness of this issue.
“And, of course, political systems can affect women entrepreneurs and the barriers they face more widely. Government can, for example, influence policies and laws that impact women’s access to resources – for example, their right to own and inherit land, or to access a loan. According to the World Bank, in 35 countries women still don’t have the same inheritance rights as men. And only 46 countries have a legal requirement that protects women from discrimination when they try to access credit”.