Reliance Foundation Announces New Partnership with W-GDP and USAID to Bridge the Gender Digital Divide in India

Under the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, a new partnership between the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Reliance Foundation will bridge the gender digital divide in India. The partnership was announced at a W-GDP event yesterday, 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. The
event was live streamed at www.state.gov.

Ivanka Trump, Advisor to the President, said: “The W-GDP Fund was created to source
and scale the most innovative programs to advance women’s economic empowerment. We
are leveraging the resources and expertise of the U.S. 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 U.S. 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, Smt 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. Today, Jio is the largest digital services company in India, and
the second largest in the world. As many as 120 million Jio users are women, and the number
is growing rapidly. This year Reliance Foundation is celebrating its 10-year anniversary, and
over the last decade has impacted the lives of 36 million Indians. Together, Jio and Reliance
Foundation will make a tremendous contribution to the W-GDP Initiative in India to help bridge
the gender digital divide.

About The W-GDP Initiative
In February 2019, the White House established the Women’s Global Development and
Prosperity (W-GDP) Initiative, the first whole-of-government approach to women’s economic
empowerment. W-GDP seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 by
focusing on three pillars – Women Prospering in the Workforce, Women Succeeding as
Entrepreneurs and Women Enabled in the Economy. W-GDP leverages a new innovative
fund, scaling private-public partnerships which address the three pillars. In its first year alone,
W-GDP programs reached 12 million women across the globe.
About Reliance Foundation
Reliance Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Reliance Industries Limited, aims to play a
catalytic role in addressing the nation’s development challenges through innovative and
sustainable solutions. Led by Founder and Chairperson Smt. Nita Ambani, RF is relentlessly
working towards facilitating transformative changes to ensure overall well-being and higher
quality of life for all. Among India’s largest social initiatives, Reliance Foundation is focused
on addressing the nation’s development challenges in areas of Rural Transformation, Health,
Education, Sports for Development, Disaster Response, Urban Renewal, and Arts, Culture
and Heritage. Reliance Foundation has touched the lives of more than 36 million people
across India, in more than 37,000 villages and several urban locations.
https://www.reliancefoundation.org

Jothi.S