The final goal is to reach 100 million women in developing nations by 2020, MasterCard and Tata Communications announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.
Other partners in the program include Brightstar, Kiva, Tone, Trickle Up and the Hidary Foundation. The focus of the program is to empower women over the next five years through access to mobile platforms comprising a range of financial, health and education applications and services.
200 million fewer women than men are online, and 300 million fewer women own a mobile phone in developing countries.
The program will kick-off with pilot projects in India, Nigeria, Indonesia and Guatemala, targeting 25,000 women, serving as microcosms.
“Three billion people will come online over the next decade primarily from the developing world. We now have our generation’s greatest opportunity to unshackle women from endless cycles of poverty and dependency by providing them with access to information and economic opportunities,” said Rangu Salgame, CEO, Growth Ventures Group, Tata Communications.