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RIL’s philanthropic arm Reliance Foundation to partner W-GDP, USAID to bridge gender digital divide

W-GDP event hosted by Deputy Secretary of State of the United States Stephen Biegun and with special guest, Ivanka Trump.

SNS | New Delhi |

Reliance Industries Ltd’s philanthropic arm Reliance Foundation on Wednesday said it has forged a new partnership under the Womens Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative for US Agency for International Development (USAID)to bridge the gender and digital divide in India.

The partnership was announced W-GDP event hosted by Deputy Secretary of State of the United States Stephen Biegun and with special guest, Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President of the United States, and Deputy USAID Administrator Bonnie Glick, it said in a statement.

Ivanka Trump said: “The W-GDP Fund was created to source and scale the most innovative programmes to advance women’s economic empowerment. We are leveraging the resources and expertise of the US government and the private sector so that activities have enduring, deep effects on the communities they reach.”

John Barsa, Acting Administrator, USAID, said: “Global prosperity will remain out of reach if we exclude half the population. At the US Agency for International Development (USAID), we believe investment in women is key to unlocking human potential on a transformational scale.

“The W-GDP Fund at USAID is financing innovative solutions to close the economic gap between women and men and help our partners advance on their Journeys to Self-Reliance.”

At the event, through a virtual video message, Nita M Ambani, Founder and Chairperson, Reliance Foundation, said, “I am delighted and proud to announce that Reliance Foundation is joining forces with W-GDP, through our partnership with USAID. Together, we shall launch the W-GDP WomenConnect Challenge across India, in the fall of 2020. At the heart of this partnership, is our shared goal to help bridge both the gender divide and the digital divide in India.”

The W-GDP Women’s Connect Challenge (WCC) supports private sector-led approaches that close the gender digital divide, expands business opportunities, and empowers women. As part of programme, W-GDP will partner with the Reliance Foundation to create an India-specific expression of the WCC and incorporate the lessons of previous W-GDP WCC Rounds.

In 2016, Reliance launched Jio a tech ecosystem that has ushered in digital life for 1.3 billion Indians and delivered first-hand a pan-India digital revolution that has transformed lives in ways unimaginable before.

W-GDP leverages a new innovative fund, scaling private-public partnerships that address the three pillars. In its first year alone, W-GDP programs reached 12 million women across the globe.