Meet the women using the internet to fight gender inequality all over the world

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From Kazakhstan to St. Louis, USA, women are ingeniously using tech to fight the good fight

“I’m interested in the ways we’re figuring out our differing challenges to equality, particularly using the power of the internet and our ability to connect,” says Stylist’s guest editor Brie Larson. Here, we celebrate the women using tech to advance gender equality around the world.

Kazakhstan: online history

Spring style inspiration courtesy of Kazakhstan archives

The first museum celebrating Kazakh women’s history is a virtual one, curated on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The Women of Kazakhstan (@womenofkz) is a collection of photos, biographies, folklore, poems and paintings. The unconventional museum joined the International Association of Women’s Museums in 2018 and has regular exhibitions.

Followers can submit relatives’ stories to preserve their legacy. “Knowledge of women’s contributions is a great tool of empowerment and inspiration,” said founder Dinara Assanova. “There are thousands of women who deserve to be part of the historical narrative of our country.” Here’s to herstory.

Iran: tech solutions

An app is helping to tackle domestic abuse in Iran

More than 40,000 women have downloaded the anti-domestic violence app Toranj within a year of its launch. The app allows women to send pre-prepared messages to friends and family to signal for help or ask contacts to call the police if they are in danger. 

However, in Iran there is no specific law to protect women from abusive marriages. Unlike men, women only have the right to divorce under the hard-to- prove conditions of impotence or addiction. Toranj provides legal information and resources and connects women to pro-bono lawyers who can help them leave their violent husbands.

Ghana: more seats at the table

A network of African female talent is shifting the boardroom imbalence

Women make up just 14% of Africa’s boardrooms, but one organisation is committed to doubling that figure over the next 10 years. The women behind The Boardroom Africa (TBRA) are champions of the social and economic benefits of proper representation. They connect their online network of more than 450 female senior executives from 45 different countries with companies that have board vacancies and senior-level opportunities. Their target is looking more reachable after one satisfied client offered up £1.6 million in funding. 

CDC Group, the UK government’s finance development institution, said it wanted to “help TBRA continue to provide us with outstanding candidates for our portfolio that we would not have otherwise found”. TBRA founder Marcia Ashong said that the organisation’s “pipeline of talent is driving a fundamental shift in the gender balance” across Africa and beyond. Pull up a chair, ladies.

USA: curing inequality

Students are compiling a database of female medical experts

Five students at Washington University School of Medicine have launched an initiative to help women in their profession advance at an equal pace to men. The 500 Women in Medicine plan includes building a database that people can use to find female experts for panels and conferences, weekly blog posts highlighting women’s work and creating a career resources hub. Diagnosis: promising.

Libya: financial freedom

Libyan women can now use an app to earn from home

The food delivery app Yummy is empowering women to turn home cooking into a bonafide business. Only one in four Libyan women is employed, as cultural norms make it hard for them to work outside the home. Yummy offers marketing, deliveries and a customer interface so women can monetise their skills.

Images: The Boardroom Africa, Andri Onet, Women of Kazakhstan, Fattoum Nasser, Getty 

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