Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has announced a $25m grant as part of its new Global Impact Challenge for Women and Girls.
Google said the initiative would provide $25m in overall cash grants to nonprofits and social enterprises, creating pathways to prosperity for women and girls.
The company in its International Women’s Day 2021 webinar held on Monday made an open call for applications for the grant funding, noting that grantees would receive funding ranging from $300,000 to $2m, as well as opportunities for mentorship and additional support from Google.
Country Director of Google Nigeria, Juliet Ehimuan, said that empowering women and girls in Africa to thrive and reach their full economic potential was more critical now than ever as they bore the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Foresight Africa report 2021.
The report confirmed that the coronavirus had ‘exacerbated already-existing gender inequalities, laying bare serious fault lines in safety, physical and mental health, education, domestic responsibilities, and employment opportunities’.
Ehimuan added that job cuts, income losses and lack of education were not simply side-effects of the pandemic, but ‘will negatively impact the economic strides made by women and girls for many years to come’.
She said, “As economies and societies rebuild, we need bold new ideas that will propel us forward. We can’t afford to go back to the way things were, and we certainly can’t do it alone.
“When women and girls have the tools, resources and opportunities to turn their potential into power, it not only changes the trajectory of their individual lives, but also strengthens entire communities. If we lift up women and girls, the rest of the world will rise, too.”
Google.org said the nonprofit organisations had until April 2 to submit their applications, adding that an all-female panel of expert Google executives and global business leaders would preside over the application review and selection process once applications closed.