Today March 8 is International Women's Day. This morning, I had the extreme pleasure to read an article by Elizabeth Schaeffer Brown and her brother Jason Brooks Brown published in the magazine Salon, “If I teach them, no one can stop them”: Roya Mahboob is fighting to educate the girls of Afghanistan. This article is an inspiring way to celebrate this great international celebration for women.
Picture by Angela Shah, journalist for NewsWeek and Daily Beast.
“If I teach them, no one can stop them”: Roya Mahboob is fighting to educate the girls of Afghanistan is a detailed analysis of Roya's work and the role of her family in the process to educate and empower tens of thousands of young women in Afghanistan. I am honored to be mentioned in this great article. The most impressive words came from Ali Mahboob who considers me as part of the Mahboob family. This gives me a great feeling but also a great responsibility to a continuous and ever evolving support to our foundation, The Digital Citizen Fund, that is the evolution of Women's Annex Foundation and the Afghan Development Project that Roya and I started three years ago.
Elizabeth and Jason decided to get on an airplane to Afghanistan a few weeks after meeting Roya, inspired by her work and the foundation's mission. Regardless of security issues and warnings, they embraced Afghanistan and Roya Mahboob's family, bringing back an amazing reportage of what has been done, will be done and could be done to change the world with Digital Literacy and Access. Friday, we had a small party at BitLanders' Manhattan headquarters to celebrate the new name of the Foundation: The Digital Citizen Fund, a new name that best describes the underlining mission of this organization: Digital Literacy, Sustainability and Community Building.
In addition to what Elizabeth and Jason shared on their article, I want to give some insight on what I see when it comes to community building and business opportunities associated to female users, especially from Afghanistan and other “Emerging Markets”.
BitLanders has over 500,000 registered users worldwide, with an extended network of 180 million fans and friends. From a business perspective, the above numbers are impressive, especially if you add the fact that each session by each user lasts over 19 minutes, well above of the worldwide average on other sites. But if you look at the performance by gender, here are the results:
The average time per session is of 17:02 minutes for male users, and 22:32 minutes for female users, making the female users the best performing users and ideal target for advertising companies and consumer goods brands. Female outperform male by 32%! Indonesia female users' average time is of 29 minutes per session that is actually 70% above the worldwide male average!
We are empowering female users to access the best and affordable connectivity tools as low cost smart phones, tablets and computers, educate them about the power of social media, not only to voice social change, but also to create financial opportunities so that they can access continuous and safe financial support. We introduced the Bitcoin payment systems to assure our users, especially female or users located in dangerous locations or circumstances, a safe payment and banking technology. We learned from the BBC mistake in revealing the real name and location of Malala, and decided to introduce Anonymous tools like “Nicknames and Avatars” so that our young female students can freely express themselves, be financially rewarded and not pay the consequences that Malala paid.
We connect technology companies like Samsung, Dell, local and international internet and phone companies to the female users of emerging markets like Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam. We empowered them to access hardware and software to assure them a better future, access education and financial independence. Female users outperform male users in average by 32%, and in the most extreme case, by 70%, in spite of the fact that female users have limited resources and access. Just imagine what female users could do if they had equal access and financial power.
It is my personal belief that contemporary technologies like Bitcoin, Native Online Advertising and the BuzzScore have the power to finance and empower education and connectivity. The female users superiority in Digital Communication would funnel an incredible amount of investments to empower gender equality and new opportunities.