The Gender Justice Technology Fund was created to bridge the digital divide for women and gender expansive people. Access to technology, including adequate internet connectivity, is a privilege that is unattainable for many women and gender expansive South Carolinians. Technology is a critical lifeline to the resources communities need to survive, like education, employment, and healthcare.
The inequities in South Carolina are clear and staggering. A 2017 study found that more than 500,000 South Carolinians have little to no broadband access. The pandemic brought the technology gap into sharp focus for low-income households. Women and gender expansive people represent a disproportionate number of caregivers and low-paid essential workers.
WREN seeks to break down barriers to policy advocacy and civic engagement for those who have the least access to systemic power. Lack of access to technology like broadband, software, or equipment significantly disadvantages women and gender expansive South Carolinians, particularly those living in rural areas.
“Caregiving, healthcare, economic dignity are all gender justice issues, and as an organization focused on gender justice, WREN wants to ensure that South Carolinians have the technology tools that they need to advance gender justice in their communities,” said Melissa Moore, the Lowcountry Manager for WREN and the program manager for this project. “In our new reality, rejoining the workforce, healthcare, education, and political engagement all rely on internet connection and equipment. The households most easily missed are those that are experience the greatest hardships.”
Grants are available to both individuals and organizations, applications are due on May 24, 2021. Applicants can complete the form online or mail in their paperwork to WREN at 1201 Main Street Suite 1820, Columbia, SC 29201.
The application is available in English and Spanish here.
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