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The women helping to create a #BetterDigitalWorld

It’s International Women’s Day today so we are celebrating the women who are contributing, day in day out, to build a #BetterDigitalWorld. From entrepreneurs to campaigners, our Digital Project Coordinator Georgia Coxhead shares some of her favourites –

Nelida Sifuentes - Vice President of Bolivian Senate

Former community leader and now Bolivian Senator Nelida Sifuentes’s response to the impending reach of corporate control over the internet and communications networks was ambitious. Recognising that ‘technology is a new way to colonise and enter countries’, she is part of an innovative programme to prove Bolivia didn’t need multinationals to become a connected country.

By training citizens to code and develop software, the idea is to set up a "sovereign cloud" outside of the influence of multinational corporates and state control.

Fundacion Karisma

Fundacion Karisma is a Colombian NGO working to protect people, particularly women and minority groups, from rights abuses online. In February 2017 Fundacion Karisma produced Safety and Privacy on Twitter – A Guide for Survivors of Harassment and Abuse’. The guide explains privacy options on the platform and how to report abuse and harassment. The guide is based on research from a joint project by Twitter and the National Network to End Domestic Violence and shows how civil society and private enterprises can work together to help solve complex issues.  

Ida Tin – Clue

Ida Tin is the CEO and co-founder of Clue, a period tracker app that takes a holistic approach to women’s health at all stages of life. Fertility tracking apps are one of the most downloaded category of health apps but Ida believed a number of these seemed ‘patronising’ towards women.  Responding to women’s desire to learn about issues affecting their health in scientific terms, Ida developed Clue. Clue’s website also helps women and men alike to better understand women’s health with resources on a wide range of things from pregnancy and the menopause to sex, and the way culture and society impact our responses to these issues. Clue also aspires to be a good data company – setting a high standard for data privacy and control.

Carmen Scurato – Net Neutrality defender 

As Vice President of Policy and General Counsel at the National Hispanic Media Coalition in the US, Carmen Scurato is a passionate defender of the internet as a fair and open platform, especially for the benefit of users from marginalised communities. Carmen and her organisation were a key voice in the campaign to keep Net Neutrality rules in place in the US, arguing that protecting Net Neutrality is not only important for innovation but also because an internet that is open and fair has the ability to give “people of a colour a means to bypass broken legacy systems, harness innovative offerings and succeed without access to traditional financial resources.” 

Evelyn Namara - !nnovate

Evelyn Namara is the founder of !nnovate, a start-up that builds technology solutions for sustainable development. !nnovate’s flagship product, the M-Voucher system helps manage the distribution of agricultural products across Uganda. Evelyn is also a global ambassador for an African-led global movement that aims to teach 1 million women and girls to code by 2030.

Limor Fried – Adafruits

Limor Fried or ‘Ladyada’ as she’s better known, is an engineer and co-founder of the pioneering open source hardware company Adafruit. Adafruit Industries sell electronics kits, components and tools via their website which is also well resourced with guides and tutorials to help people build the hardware. Limor’s goal was to create an online space where people of all ages and skill abilities could learn about electronics. The company is 100% owned by women and its goal is to get more young people, especially women, involved in technology, science and engineering.

Creating a #BetterDigitalWorld

Do you have any inspiring examples of people or projects that are creating a better digital world for all of us? You can share them with us on Twitter by tagging @Consumers_Int and using the hashtag #BetterDigitalWorld.

You can also visit our digital inclusion webpage to find out more about our work in this area.