Sunday, June 20, 2010

Practical Feminisms

I have been lucky enough to join a very recent initiative that aims at investing in women, both financially and socially using ITC technologies for the betterment of us all. It is my pleasure to introduce the beta version of the brand new Malaika Web. I hope to be editing content for them in the near future and hope that y'all will give a hand to this fabulous, homegrown, young Tanzania initiative.

In a nutshell, this is an opportunity for women to network, learn, invest and grow as entrepreneurs. For the die-hard sexists who might be wondering: why women? Because it's practical, and because it is necessary:

"Recent local evidence shows that:

· Targeting women works! The 2008 Impact Evaluation of Tanzania Social Action Fund (TASAF) II preliminary findings suggest that targeting women can have a positive impact on health, education and nutrition countrywide. It has also been observed that as women get wealthier they tend to invest more in their families and reduce household vulnerability while as men get richer they divest more and tend to increase household vulnerability.

· Microfinancing women works! As of December 2009, BRAC Tanzania was operating in 18 regions with a cumulative disbursement of US$44 million in its microfinance programme.

· Mobile connections work! As of March 2010, Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) reported that the total subscriptions to mobile networks amounted to about 18 million generating average revenue per user exceeding US$ 10 per month."

If a woman does well, her whole household does well. Elementary social truths, m'dear Watson. And to further allay any grumblings: half the team behind the scheme is xy-chromosomed. Inclusiveness is very much a part of this initiative. So let me encourage you here to join up with Malaika Web's Beta version and take the journey. Let's see where we end up :)

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