Three extraordinary organizations were announced today as winners of the 2016 GEM-TECH Awards at a ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand for their efforts to promote the empowerment of women and girls through information and communication technology (ICT), and a commitment to bridging the gender digital divide
Jointly hosted by ITU and UN Women, the GEM-TECH Awards are a unique international prize celebrating gender equality and mainstreaming in technology.
The winners were selected by a committee of experts from ITU and UN Women for their performance in three categories.
3 categories of winners
The 2016 GEM-TECH Award winners by category are:
- Application of Technology for Women’s Empowerment and Digital Inclusion
Winner: Aliadas en Cadena, Venezuela: For its work helping more than 20,000 unemployed women take control of their economic lives through computer training courses, employment skills, personal development, money management skills and support for business start-ups.
“We believe that ensuring women’s full equality is the best way to build a peaceful and just society,” said a visibly moved Ileana La Rosa, the group’s founder and CEO. “Aliadas en Cadena has proven that ICTs make a real difference in women’s lives”
- Promoting Women in the Technology Sector
Winner: Working to Advance STEM Education for African Women (WAAW) Foundation, Regional: For its work providing training, mentorship and scholarships aimed at increasing the pipeline of women entering STEM fields as leaders and technology innovators.
“I truly believe in the immense importance of our work,” said WAAW Founder and President Unoma Okorafor after receiving her award. “Gender equality isn’t just the right thing to do … it’s the right thing economically. It’s the right thing to do for the bottom line. … Women are creators. They are innovators. They bring beauty to technology.”
- Development of Gender Responsive ICT Governance, Policy and Access
Winner: World Wide Web Foundation, Global: For its work to advance the open web as a public good and a basic right.
A powerful force for change
“This year’s winners prove that no matter where you are in the world, technology is a powerful force for positive change,” Sarita Raghuvanshi, host of the 2016 GEM-TECH Awards, told the audience.
This year, over 300 nominees from around the world were received for this prestigious award, which was then whittled down to 14 inspiring finalists.
“By shining the light on women in tech – especially the GEM-TECH award winners – we can make a difference in advancing the work women are doing and inspire other women to become decision makers and technology innovators,” said keynote speaker Kathryn C. Brown, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Internet Society.
For more information on the finalists and winners, please click here.