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Australia, Ireland launch competition for technologies that improve rural women’s lives

Update: March, 07/2019 - 18:13
An ethnic minority tea farmer from Mường Đỗ, Sơn La Province introduces local tea products at the event on Wednesday in Hà Nội. — Photo courtesy of the Australian embassy
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — On Wednesday, the embassies of Australia and Ireland jointly launched a national competition for concepts and innovations beneficial for rural women.

Inspired by the global theme for International Women’s Day 2019 – Think equal, build smart, innovate for change – the competition “Technologies for Equality” aims to promote the application of technologies to empower women in rural areas.

The objectives of the competition are to sponsor potential high impact technology initiatives for the empowerment of rural women; provide support for the technologies; improve awareness in society of the need for the empowerment of rural women; and spread understanding of how technology can be used to reduce poverty and raise living standards for rural communities.

To be eligible, an applicant must be a Vietnamese woman (an individual or group led by a woman) residing in Việt Nam, and have a technology-related solution that improves the lives or productivity of rural women.

Solutions should be at least at the minimum viable product (MVP) stage and demonstrate that the benefit of the technology can last three to five years. Applications close on April 6 and the winners will be announced on April 21, 2019 – World Creativity and Innovation Day.

Successful entrants will receive AU$10,000, 5,000 or 3,000 (US$7,000, 3,500 or 2,100) in prize money for first, second or third place. They will also receive acceleration and incubation support for their winning technologies by the Women’s Initiative for Start-ups and Entrepreneurship (WISE).

Also on Wednesday, the two governments showcased technologies they had supported to improve the lives of rural women.

The first was a mobile application called Safe Journey, which provides job matching and accommodation advice for migrant women. It was developed by PLAN International Vietnam with the support of Australia.

The second was a tea processing facility supported by the Center for Development and Integration with funding from the Embassy of Ireland, which helps female ethnic minority tea farmers in Mường Đỗ, Sơn La Province, improve post-harvest processing and product quality to meet the Vietfarm standard and make higher-value branded products.

Vice Minister of Science and Technology Bùi Thế Duy said he believed the competition will help unearth and support innovative solutions to ensure rural women and girls can fully participate and prosper in the workforce and the economy. — VNS

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