ABOUT THE PRIZE
The 1.8 billion young people in the world today represent the largest youth population in history. In many parts of the world, youth lack opportunities for education and meaningful employment; an estimated 21 percent of youth are neither employed nor enrolled in education or training opportunities leaving these youth disaffected and with little hope for their future prospects.
Youth unemployment disproportionally affects young women. Globally, only 37 percent of young women participate in the labor force, compared to 54 percent of young men. When young women are excluded from economic opportunities, gender inequality is reinforced and they are less able to invest in their own health, education and safety – and that of their children.
The factors contributing to this economic gender divide include limited opportunities for young women to access quality education and workforce skills training; gender-based violence while traveling to or while at work; and barriers to joining traditionally male-dominated, higher-paying professions.
USAID, with private sector support from the Volvo Group and Standard Chartered, is committed to empowering young women and unlocking their potential to transform their communities and the world. Through the Young Women Transform Prize, USAID supports youth in developing countries to develop their own solutions to advance the economic empowerment of young women in their communities. "We are thrilled to be directly supporting youth-led and youth-serving organizations like the ones being awarded...we know that by empowering women, we are creating greater economic opportunities and stability for all," said USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator Michelle Bekkering during the prize awards announcement at the 2018 YouthPower Annual Learning Network Meeting.
Since March 2018, YouthPower Learning received over 1,000 expressions of interest, and 365 applications from 100 countries. The eight winners are grassroots youth-serving or youth-led organizations from Latin America, Africa, and Asia. Prize awards range from $15,000 to $35,000, and focus on collecting and sharing learning, and on capturing new evidence and approaches to improve young women’s economic opportunities.
Meet the Winners:
- Asante Africa Foundation
- Dream Factory Foundation
- Disabled Women Empowerment Center
- Kibera Community Empowerment Center
- Mashinani Hub
- Safeplan Uganda
- Visionaria Network
- The Biz Nation