Closing the gender digital divide: Tech4Families

Equal Access International (EAI) was thrilled when our innovative norms-centered design to address the gender digital divide in Northern Nigeria won the WomenConnect Challenge out of over 500 applicants. 2018-present

A Project of

In Northern Nigeria, an estimated 60% of the female population does not have access to the Internet or smartphones. Women’s lack of access is due to multiple obstacles including cost, literacy, appropriate and relevant content in Hausa, knowledge of the potential benefits of the Internet, and cultural and patriarchal gender norms that restrict access. This final barrier, cultural and gender norms, is critical to the sustainable uptake of technology by women and girls in Northern Nigeria. Equal Access International’s (EAI) approach to lessening the gender digital divide is to address the normative barriers to women and girls’ access to and use of technology at the family level as a critical first step.


The Tech4Families solution is built on human-centered design principles and is inclusive of the whole family. Our project is being implemented in Kano, Nigeria. Given the pervasive oppression of women and girls and the lack of digital literacy overall, our project focuses specifically on the role men play in women and girls’ access to technology. EAI is utilizing a variety of tested intervention methods from our Change Starts at Home project to create an enabling environment with the goal of connecting women and girls to technology. Tech4Families Objectives are:   

  • Reduce cultural and patriarchal barriers to women and girls’ access and use;  
  • Increase digital literacy within the family;  
  • Generate community awareness of the benefits of women and girls’ access to technology;   
  • Create a case study that proves an approach to the gender digital divide centered on cultural norms works.

Between November 2018 and early 2020, EAI will implement high-impact community engagement activities, grounded in locally-driven knowledge and formative research, to produce relevant media content, and provide digital literacy training with the goal of changing the knowledge, attitudes and behaviors (KABs) of all family members – ultimately enabling mothers and daughters access and use of technology.

EAI is honored to be chosen as one of the winners of the WomenConnect Challenge to address the gender digital divide in N. Nigeria. We were thrilled that our innovative norms-centered design won out of over 500 applicants.

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Collaborate with EAI to adapt our norms change work to address the gender digital divide.

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