With blockchain affecting so many aspects of our world, it’s no wonder this revolutionary technology is also breaking down barriers for roughly half the human population on Earth: Women.
It’s no secret that, throughout history, men have largely dominated positions of power while women faced discrimination and inequalities. Sadly, though strides in women’s rights have been accomplished, these inequalities continue persisting to this very day. Fortunately, blockchain could be the answer to many of the challenges women face, in both developed and developing nations alike.
Even though blockchain technology is still in its infancy, it’s already begun to transform countless industries and change our world in many ways — from protecting against voter fraud to aiding refugees in need, and everything in between.
Let’s see some ways blockchain is empowering women around the globe, plus how you can help out, too.
Aiding Women That Need It Most
In developing nations, the disparity between genders is often more severe. For example, women have much lower access to land than men. Women are often restricted to “secondary land rights,” which means they must have a male family member sign the title to the land they bought. In cases such as divorce or widowhood, these women risk losing their entitlements completely.
Storing land titles on the blockchain, however, would allow women to indisputably prove they own their land, since the technology is tamper-proof. No government official or male family member could go in and change the document or forge a new one in their name, because it’s already been verified on the blockchain as to who really owns that land.
Blockchain can also solve big problems many women face with financial transactions. Did you know 42% of women worldwide don’t have a bank account? Since blockchain takes out intermediaries (such as banks), women can quickly send and receive money right through their phone using cryptocurrencies, often for free. There are also zero costs in opening a cryptocurrency wallet, which removes a big barrier to entry for women with limited funds.
The world is taking note of the potential possibilities blockchain could open up for marginalized women. UN Women, in partnership with the UN Office of Information and Communications Technology, are exploring blockchain-based solutions that address the many challenges women and girls face during conflicts and natural disasters.
“UN Women’s pioneering involvement in this new territory can act as an important stamp of legitimacy enabling investment in blockchain solutions designed to help women in emergencies. For refugee women on the move, blockchain technology can help store and secure identity papers, medical records and documentation of ownership of assets,” explains Karen Ellemann, a minister of Denmark involved in the project.
Closing The Tech Industry Gender Gap
Men have largely dominated over the tech industry, and it’s not much different in the blockchain space. Just go to a cryptocurrency conference and you’ll find “blockchain bros” as far as the eye can see. It’s estimated that women account for only 4% to 6% of blockchain investors.
But just look a little closer, and you can see many women working hard towards breaking down these blockchain barriers, advocating for increased participation among women. Since the technology is still brand new, women have the opportunity to get in at the ground level and shape the industry.
“There is an opportunity now for women to not only join the conversation about blockchain technology, but to lead the conversation,” says Anjalee Burr, COO of RISE, a blockchain platform for developers.
There’s wonder women out there pioneering the way for the younger generation of girls to get involved in this cutting-edge field. Meet Dr. Jane Thomason, an advisor for several blockchain startups and CEO of Abt Associates Australia, a social impact research and consulting service. Dr. Thomason founded World Blockchain Academy for Girls, whose mission is to provide open-source technology classes to girls globally — ultimately empowering more women to get involved in the tech industry.
Join the Movement
If this information fires you up, that’s great! The first step to changing the blockchain industry to be more inclusive of women is awareness. Educate yourself and others about the issues women face and how blockchain can help. Get other women excited about the potential this crazy new technology has to change the world for the better.
Blockchain companies can only be successful if they have a vibrant, engaged community. Let’s make sure half the world’s population doesn’t get underrepresented or excluded.
Here at Gremis, we are proud to have two-thirds of our team made up of badass women passionate about blockchain. We believe gender inequality should no longer exist — and not only in the blockchain industry. Gender inequality shouldn’t exist, period.
We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg of what blockchain is capable of, and it’s already making a big impact. Gremis is optimistic about what the future holds and the many ways blockchain can help break down barriers and completely transform our world as we know it.