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WHERE: UN Palais, Geneva

WHEN: 19-20 December 2017

The 2017 EQUALS in Tech Awards will be held 19 December 2017 at the Internet Governance Forum in Geneva, Switzerland.

Registration to attend the Internet Governance Forum is necessary to enter the venue. 

EQUALS in Tech Awards Ceremony
19 December 2017 
5:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Room XVIII, Building E, Palais des Nations

EQUALS in Tech Panel Discussion

20 December 2017

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Room XXV, Building E, Palais des Nations

Supporting Partners of the 2017 EQUALS in Tech Awards:
Meet the 2017 EQUALS in Tech Awards Finalists:
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Supporting development of science, technology, engineering and math skills of women and girls

Digital Citizen Fund (International organization) 

The Digital Citizen Fund (DCF) encourages women to be active learners in the world of technology and empower them to create sustainable income opportunities for themselves and their families.

It has been uniquely equipped to empower women to impact the world beyond their borders through three initiatives:

  1. DCF provides comprehensive training in financial and digital literacy, as well as critical job skills and training, enabling young women in its programmes to gain the education they need to become skilled professionals. 

  2. DCF assists entrepreneurs in starting, managing and scaling their businesses by helping them with business plans, marketing strategies and partnerships. 

  3. DCF plans to provide an online marketplace based on blockchain technology for students to connect with peers, to collaborate on ideas and innovations, and to acquire possible partnerships with the local chamber of commerces in each respective area.

Over the past 4 years, DCF has built 13 IT and media centers have provided Internet access to 55,000 people, and trained over 10,000 women in digital literacy, financial literacy and entrepreneurship in Afghanistan. In the most recent installment of the programme, 100 women launched startups in different industries, and many of these startup companies created 3-5 additional jobs. Current students of the Fund programmes in Herat, educated and sponsored by the organization, used their skills to win a national robotics competition and were the first team to represent Afghanistan at the FIRST Global Robotics Olympiad in DC.

Digital Opportunity Trust (Civil society)


The Digital Opportunity Trust (DOT) empowers young women between the ages of 18 and 29 to create opportunities and transform their own communities as entrepreneurs, innovators and changemakers. DOT targets high potential young women who are unemployed, underemployed or otherwise vulnerable. 

DOT has mobilized more than 6,000 youth worldwide, over half of whom are women, which has created a powerful ripple effect that has reached over 1 million community members. DOT’s programme results, with at least 50% of participants comprising young women, demonstrate the success of its interventions.


In the past year, DOT programmes have resulted in more than 5,800 new digitally enabled businesses, over half of them run by women. A World Bank Case Study, in partnership with the Gender Innovation Lab, found that women’s incomes rose 30% as a result of engagement with DOT. Eighty-five percent of DOT youth feel empowered to identify opportunities in their communities that they previously did not believe existed. Upon programme exit, 70% launch an innovation, leveraging technology that solves a community problem, or scale the impact of an existing initiative.




Miss.Africa Digital (Private sector)

Miss.Africa Digital is the first Pan-African programme for women-in-technology, is a gender-focused initiative targeted mainly at female youth audiences throughout the continent to increase their personal involvement in early technology use and adoption with a view to improving their digital self-awareness, skills development, empowerment and overall financial independence. The programme is aimed in involving them in complementary gender development initiatives that improve the lives of young girls and women through digital inclusion.

The Miss.Africa Seed Fund in Africa offers grants to support women and girls in the STEM fields to launch or expand their own initiatives that will increase their digital opportunities in IT related training, jobs and leadership roles. Since its inception, the Miss.Africa Seed Fund (now in its third year) has received over 400 applications from 30 countries across Africa. Over 500 young women have now been trained and received skill sets in mobile and web development and also entrepreneurship skills to enable them design and plan revenue generating business models. The programme provides training, mentorship and outreach programs to increase the number of skilled women in technology, entrepreneurship and to catalyze impact in the community.

Organization for Gender Equality in Tech Ltd /

She Codes (Civil society)


The Organization For Gender Equality In Tech Ltd (PBC) is a non-governmental organization that offers Israeli women free hands-on professional training in order to fill in the gap of software engineers, targeting  50% female software developers. Main activities include: coding sessions; study tracks of topics with high market demand such as web, android and python development; career and job seeking training; hackathons and project building.


She Codes improves the lives of thousands Israeli women in all parts of society, leading them to a successful career in the Israeli high-tech industry. It has over 20,000 community members who participate in over 130 monthly activities, with over 3,600 newly enrolled participants in educational programmes opening each month. The community has assisted in placing over 150 women via career centres over the past year. She Codes activities are led by over 250 volunteers, which allows constant organic growth and provides a sense of community, and which is critical to reaching out to more women.

Pakistan Ministry of IT & Telecom (Government)


The ministry's ICT for Girls programme has an objective of promoting inclusiveness and empowerment of girls/young women to enable them to contribute to and benefit from the value chain of ICTs. The target audiences for this programme are girls and young women from impoverished segments of society and remote areas.

The programme aims to provide:

  1. ICT infrastructure and ICT tools;

  2. Customized ICT education for specific skill development;  Cu

  3. Mentorship and funding for potential startups and entrepreneurs. 

Through the ICT for Girls’ Women Empowerment Centres programme, 100 digital labs at Women Empowerment Centres were established and over 5,000 girls trained each year with Microsoft’s 4Cs skill program. Under the programme, 40 participants have been admitted to the National Incubation Centre for one year with a 30% special quota for women. Currently, 15% of startups under incubation are led by women CEOs.




Improving women and girls’ digital technology access, connectivity and security

Africa Teen Geeks (Civil society)

Africa Teen Geeks is a non-profit organization in South Africa that introduces computer science in disadvantaged schools as part of its mission to "Inspire Africa's next generation of technology innovators". The organization's Geek Clubs are computer schools that inspire the next generation of technology innovators. The clubs offer computer programming for teens who would otherwise never have had the opportunity.

One of the organization's innovative programmes is Knit2Code, which teaches programming through knitting. This programme is aimed at getting more girls into STEM by also including their mothers and care givers.


Africa Teen Geeks has also developed a programme called #GirlGeek to create a pipeline for women in tech with a special focus on disadvantaged communities. More than 40,000 children from township schools have already benefited from Africa Teen Geeks programmes.




Bangladesh Ministry of Planning (Government)

The division works on gender equality responsive ICT governance, policy and access through two categories: Functional Works for Software-based Automation and Researches Works.
The aim is to bring women into the sector by creating friendly environments for women to engage in the sector. Activities include increasing the pool of candidates by erasing irrelevant questions during interviews and applications, eliminating discrimination against women during hiring, ‘squash’ harassment in the work place, minimize pay gap, encouraging fair and equal performance evaluation and coach employees to have a gender equality mindset.


The research work targets a sustainable and equal (men and women) development of an organizational business, and presents a simplified, secured, sustainable and equal (men and women) enterprise architecture framework.

Department of Women, Child Development and Social Welfare, Government of West Bengal, India (Government) [Finalist 2016]


Kanyashree Prakalpa is a unique end-to-end ICT driven Conditional Cash Transfer programme, which works to improve the lives of millions of adolescent girls in West Bengal that have a poor socio-economic background, through educational, social, financial and digital empowerment.

The initiative is being implemented through 16,000 institutes and schools across West Bengal. 

It has so far changed the lives of 4.2 million adolescent girls in its four years of existence, and it has received national and international appreciation and awards, including UNPSA 2017. In addition, in the West Bengal Board of Secondary examination in 2016, the gender ratio of examinees was 54.57% for girls and 45.43% for boys.

Lebanese Alternative Learning (Civil society)

Lebanese Alternative Learning is an NGO that to develop alternative educational resources through technology and creative interventions. A network of educators, education technology experts, artists and communication specialists are working together to enhance teaching methods and practices in Lebanon. Our priority is to empower vulnerable communities and ensure all children receive an engaging and effective learning experience and avoid school dropouts.


Tabshoura in a Box is an educational platform, developed by LAL, which places a particular emphasis on teaching STEM to refugee girls. It works independently of the Internet and electricity, a key feature in low-resource environments, and it provides a hotspot where students can connect computers and access digital learning resources. Currently, three school and three learning centers are using Tabshoura in a Box, and the platform is expected to spread to at least 15 schools and learning centers within the next year.

Safetipin (Private sector)


Safetipin is an application and technology platform that empowers women and girls to have access to digital safety information for a particular public space -- giving them the ability to avoid zone in which women may be targeted with violence. The platform also enables users to upload safety data to share with others.  


The app was first launch in India and has now expanded its impact. It has been downloaded more than 70,000 times and has been used in several cities across India as well as globally. 


At the core of the app is the Safety Audit. It consists of a set of 9 parameters that together contribute to the perception of safety. Each audit results in a pin on the specific location where the audit was performed and also records the time and date. The colour of the pin is red, orange or green based on the measure of the parameters. Based on audit data in an area, a Safety Score is generated.

SafetiPin  also works with governments, NGOs, city planners, international agencies and corporates, to provide and use safety data for change.


Promoting women in decision-making roles within the information and communication technology field

Bangladesh Women in Technology (Private sector)

Bangladesh Women in Technology is an organization dedicated to mobilizing women involved in all levels of the technology industry and to create professional development and networking opportunities for growth and make meaningful contribution in the growth of Bangladesh. The organization acts as a platform for skills development and networking, and provides access to positive role models in the IT field. 


In partnership with the Women Affairs Ministry fund, the initiative assists in entrepreneurship development for grassroots women, helping them to integrate their businesses into the supply chain.  The organization helped empower 3,000 IT based women-owned businesses in every union (smallest admin unit in local government) in rural Bangladesh. This was done by acting as a catalyst to bring together resources of the Women’s Affairs Ministry and utilizing the know-how of the SME Foundation and UIC project of the Prime Minister's Office.


The organization has helped to bring women into a larger market by providing them with capital, training and market development support and taking them to a much higher scale of operations. 

Ericsson / Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas (Private sector)


This partnership between Ericsson and the Girls Scouts of Northeast Texas aims to increase the number of women in the United States entering STEM-related careers. This initiative benefits more than 29,000 girls nationwide and the major audience is girls ages 5 - 17 and Girl Scout troop leaders.  


Ericsson is helping redesign the learning management process and giving Girl Scouts first-hand leadership experiences. As a result of this partnership, girls in the Girl Scouts organization are exposed to a more robust STEM programme. Troop leaders are also educated on STEM activities prior to working with the girls so that there is a better comfort level within the leadership organization.


This initiative also raises awareness of the many types of STEM careers girls can choose from and helps them to gain early exposure to those careers.

Sheva & Fundacion Tigo (Private sector)

Sheva & Fundacion Tigo teach young women and girls age 15-30 in Guatemala how to use and take advantage of existing and life changing tools found on mobile technology.


In Guatemala there has been an exponential increase of smartphone usage even in rural areas, because of the low cost. Although many girls and women were using smartphones, more than 50% of them did not even know how to use an app, how to navigate in Google, how to have an email account, etc. Through the workshops, they have learned how to take advantage of mobile technology to better their lives.


The programme has trained over 10,000 girls and women in Guatemala and trains approximately 2,000 girls per month and operates in almost 10 states in Guatemala.

Sula Batsu Cooperativa (Civil society)


Sula Batsu Cooperativa integrates rural young women into the IT sector in Costa Rica by creating women-led rural “technological poles”, which enable women to develop companies that invigorate the local digital economy.


The initiative:

  • Uses art and culture to tell the stories of women who had a role in STEM to share their stories and encourage young girls;

  • Creates technology with the perspective of young women to involve them in the creative process such through female hackathons and programming clubs;

  • Incubates digital entrepreneurship of rural young women;

  • Consolidates a network of women in the IT sector to mentor and train young girls and women to participate in conferences and scholarships;

  • Influences the culture and conditions of technology careers in universities and companies by creating a code for inclusive tech careers, which has been integrated into company policies.


The programme has impacted 1,500 rural young women, 700 teenage girls, and 200 mothers of rural girls. It also hosts a network of 400 girls who meet regularly to define and implement actions around women in tech, the results of which influences university curricula, companies and public policies. Piloted in northern Costa Rica, the programme is now expanding to other regions and Central American countries.

Unistream (Civil society)


Unistream’s “Fast Forward to ICT” is a programme that aims to empower women and girls and promote gender equality by opening rare avenues to STEM education and ICT careers and leadership roles.


The programme was developed to address the Israeli socio-economic reality, in which 80% of the children who are born to poor parent will remain poor for the rest of their lives, and only 10% of electric engineers and technology majors in Israel are women.


The programme offers training,  coaching, consulting, networking and professional mentorship to help guide qualified female participants into STEM majors that they otherwise, due to social and cultural pressure, are prevented from entering, thus increasing their involvement in ICT and tech, and creating gender equality and mainstreaming in the tech world.

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