Change Magazine July 2017 issue - Page 28

How iWomen works iWomen is short for “inspir- ing women”, a mobile app that will tell women’s true life sto- ries, encourage them to share experiences with each other, establish self-help groups to solve their own challenges, and make their voices heard. How iWomen is funded With support from UNDP Innovation Fund, May Doe Kabar was able to set up a crowd fund and offer its mem- bers loans at a 2.5% interest rate. Smartphone suppliers are also engaged in the supply chain of the app. Members can buy the smartphones using the money they loaned and install the iWomen app. iWomen’s management team would meet regularly to discuss the finan- cial needs of its members and how to utilize the crowd fund to help them. nical expertise in the develop- ment and maintenance of the app. Innovative stickers The rise of social media has introduced the use of emot- icons and stickers to express one’s emotions. Riding with this modern wave, iWomen has opted to introduce a set of stickers especially designed for the app. Initially, the women in Daw Cho Aye’s village took time using them in online con- versations as it was something quite new to them. It was wide- ly utilized over time. Women groups can also up- load event information on the app and invite women in the network to participate. “Rural women face a lot of challeng- es, and the reason is that oth- er women are not supporting them enough”, said Eleonora Gatti, co-founder of iWom- en and consultant of UNDP In a way, the use of these Apart from its financial sup- Myanmar. port, UNDP has shared tech- stickers is a way of empower- Photo from: iWomen Website During the iWomen App Soft Launch 25