Blockchain is playing crucial role in the lives of women
Blockchain can and is transforming the world in several ways. Almost every sector is eager to accept and use this technology for betterment. What actually isn’t very widely known is that Blockchain can and is playing a very crucial role in women empowerment and transforming the lives of women all around the globe.
Around 42% do not have access to Banking services, women own less than 20% of the world’s land, a large number of women have trouble proving that they ‘exist’, as some of them don’t even have any identification proof and in some cases that they do the documents aren’t accessible. Women are underrepresented in almost every industry and extremely marginalized in the Crypto industry, with only 5% to 7% women cryptocurrency users. Ninety percent of Bitcoin users are male. In 2017, when approximately $85 Billion was made by investors, only $5 Billion was made by women.
Times are changing now. In developing countries like India, where Patriarchy is louder than individualism, Blockchain might actually be the much sought key. Here are some ways in which Blockchain can affect and help women:
Making education accessible
Education is the key to empowerment. According to a survey 70% in undergraduate courses and 72% of the students in graduate courses were women in 2015, spring (USA). Around 77% of women in developing countries largely rely on internet for completing their education and sometimes starting it. A large number of women are learning several skills online. Blockchain technology can bridge up the gap between these women and the desired education by creating a safe and secure learning environment for them.
Blockchain holds immense power for female financial autonomy. Olivier Mukuta is a social inventor and a part of UN Women. She explained how women suffer due to financial reasons. She explained how the money usually isn’t used in the way it was intended to because the male in the family didn’t wish to. In cases kids has to drop schools and there was not enough money for food because someone decided to snatch the money out of women’s hand and use it on something much less important. In the world where the male in family is supposed to be the ‘leader’, it is hard for women to oppose. Olivier came up with VipiCash as a solution. It is a financial service startup which allows a person to send money to another. The money can be locked into a specific service like school fees, food items, and can be managed only by the person it was intended for. Blockchain allowed them to cut all the processing cost and also made sure the transaction was secure and transparent. Blockchain does this by removing the ‘middle man’, making the use of such services a lot easier.
They are planning to expand the services, allowing women to manage a business through VipiCash and create a marketplace just for women.
The reason why only 20% of the land is owned by women lies in the hindrance created by lack of proper law structure, societal establishments, male dominating households and customary laws, to name a few. Blockchain can improve the conditions and enable women to protect their ownership rights, as the technology has the power to eliminate falsification of documents and forgery. Since it is impossible to forge a blockchain entry or edit an existing one; once the ownership has been documented no one can deny the right of the women over any land.
As shown in studies, women are much less likely to hold any proof of identity. It happens due to lack of important documents. In some cases, women are denied to hold any identity. Lack of mere identification proof can result in several societal and existential crises. This is a direct violation of human rights and can be very easily prevented. Blockchain has the ability to store information in a cost-efficient and incredibly safe way. This can be used to store women’s information and also provide a digital ID to them. This will allow them to vote, gain employment in the economic sector, create a bank account and live a normal life.
Women in Blockchain
As known to all, women are hardly found working in the crypto industries. There are numerous reasons behind this, but more importantly, ICOs are trying to resolve this issue and help women get more involved in the industry. They are doing that by helping women overcome the VC funding bias. Though this bias isn’t something that is done intentionally, it’s more subconscious than one would like to believe, but it affects everyone. In the year 2016, women-led startups were only 4.94% of the overall successful VC fundraisers, receiving an average of $4.5 million of funding which is well far less than $10.9 million per deal, what is received by a male-led startup.
ICOs present the sweet deal to the VC fundraisers, without disclosing the identity of the people offering it, allowing women to develop bigger startups without worrying about the bias.
Women are a huge and essential part of the society and Blockchain can transform their lives and future if the right steps are taken.