Two major initiatives of UN Women—“Making Every Woman and Girl Count” and “Buy from Women” are receiving significant support from Alibaba Foundation as part of the 5-year, USD 5 million commitment the Foundation made to UN Women.
Launched in September 2016, UN Women’s Making Every Woman and Girl Count programme seeks to bring about a radical shift in how gender statistics are used, created and promoted at the global, regional and country level. Working across three broad areas, the programme promotes a supportive policy environment to prioritize gender data; supports efforts to improve the regular production of gender statistics; and improves access to data to inform policy-making.
The programme is currently implemented in three regions and in six of the original 12 pathfinder countries selected by UN Women in 2017. Alibaba Foundation’s contribution will support expansion of the programme in Asia. The Foundation joins the Governments of Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Alwaleed Philanthropies and Revlon, as partners supporting the programme.
Buy From Women, is an innovative technology solution that connects women farmers and cooperatives to information, finance and markets. Innovation and ICTs offer exciting opportunities to unlock the business potential of marginalized and isolated women farmers by providing easy, mobile-enabled access to climate-smart agricultural information and services, building a digital track record and credit profile to increase access to finance, and connecting farmers to national, regional and global supply chains to improve access to markets.
With the support of Alibaba Foundation, the Buy From Women digital platform will allow women and young girls farmers in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo to track their production volumes, payments, profits, inventories, buyers’ profiles and produce reports on their business records. The open source technology can easily be used for different supply chains and include additional features such as: weather forecast, information on crops/agriculture techniques, GPS for land mapping, mobile wallet, etc. It will allow women farmers to access new markets, increase their production and revenues and have access to new services.
“Supporting women around the world is an important priority for the Alibaba Foundation,” said Sun Lijun, Chairman of the Alibaba Foundation. “We believe that technology has the power not only to help women entrepreneurs seize new economic opportunities but also supports access to gender data collection and analysis to understand the state of women around the world. Our partnership with UN Women is critical to ensuring the benefits of the digital era are enjoyed by all.”
“We are pleased to scale up our work to empower women and girls in the critical areas of gender data and climate-smart agriculture with the help of our partner, the Alibaba Foundation,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka. “With this kind of intentional use of innovation, digital technology can empower women farmers. When we expand the collection of quality, sex-disaggregated data we can better understand and track progress on the pressing challenges facing women and girls— both critical areas to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”