It’s always good to hear of technology making real change possible in people’s lives. The Gender and Information & Communication Technology (GICT) Awards
honor and bring international recognition to innovative and effective projects by women to use ICTs for the promotion of gender equality and / or womens empowerment. This year’s winner is Pallitathya in Bangladesh:
The [Pallitathya] Help-Line deployed women in the community as “Mobile Operator Ladies” who move from door-to-door to enable other women — mostly housewives — to ask questions related to livelihood, agriculture, health, and legal rights via a mobile phone, while Help-Desk operators respond to the women’s queries with the use of a database-driven software application and the internet.
With women’s economic empowerment as its centrepiece, the Pallitathya Help-Line Centre directly addressed the community’s information needs while keeping the beneficiaries’ anonymity intact. As mobile operator ladies, women were consciously given a crucial role as “infomediaries,” increasing their self-worth, their potential to earn, and their knowledge about various issues.”