FAO Regional Office for Near East and North Africa

Arab women and girls win three prizes for “Designing the Best Mobile Application for Empowering Rural Women in the Arab Region” competition

30 September 2020, Cairo, Egypt – On Wednesday 30 September, the Arab Women Organization (AWO) announced, at its headquarters in Egypt, the names of the winners in the competition “Designing the Best Mobile Application for Empowering Rural Women in the Arab Region which was launched by the organization in cooperation with the Regional Office for the Near East and North Africa of the FAO earlier this year. This came in presence of members of the jury, representatives of partner entities, and media coverage.

The Director General of the AWO, Dr. Fadia Kiwan said, “This competition came within the framework of the AWO’s programme aimed at improving the lives of rural women in the Arab region by studying the status of gender equality in the agricultural field and monitoring the obstacles and challenges that act as a prevention in rural societies.”

In addition to the FAO as a main partner, cooperation has taken place with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Arab Administrative Development Organization (ARADO) in this competition that was launched last April to coincide with the International Day for girls in the field of information and communication technology. It targeted the small and emerging companies in the field of information technology, young women and men, developers of information systems and special places were designated for girls under the age of 18.

The competition was based on three main axes: firstly, good crops and farm management, secondly, linking rural women's products with local markets, and thirdly, addressing the challenges facing rural women, and this area ensures confronting natural disasters, social difficulties and obstacles as well.

The submitted prototypes were judged by a high-level panel, consisting of Amy Davidson, Information Technology Officer at the FAO, Engineer Rawda Al Ameer Ali, Programme Officer at the ITU, and Dr. Hoda Dahroug, Head of the Central Department for Community Development at the Ministry of Communication and IT and is the Regional Director of the Comprehensive Community Development Project using information and communication technology, and engineer Ahmed Al-Thunaibat, IT Officer at ARADO.

In agreement with the FAO, the organization designed an electronic application for evaluating the presented prototypes. The evaluation came according to the criteria that was carefully developed for this competition, which was mainly on the originality of the innovation, the ease of the application-use as well as the design and technical aspects that were represented in the use of technology and data science approaches.

The results of the competition came as follows:

Firstly: Individuals and companies category:

Golden prize: went to Tebian Muhammad Al-Tayeb Abdel-Qader from Sudan for the application of (She).  Its idea revolves around providing a range of legal, educational, medical and social services to rural women. 

Silver prize: went to Maryam Abdul-Rahman Al-Nuaimia and Meera Suleiman Al-Azzaniya from the Sultanate of Oman and Inas Shadoul Mohamed from Sudan for the application of (Shatlah). The application provides assistance to rural women through monitoring the crops in the farm in an easy and innovative manner. It has a voice feature as well to support rural women who are unable to read.

Bronze prize: went to Mary Elian Abboud, Gina Fayyad and Centia Youhanna from Lebanon for their application (Mounetna). The application constitutes a platform that brings together all women who want to be in a unified website that allows them to be linked with the consumer who can compare products with their prices and identify their producers.

Secondly: Girls under the age of 18 category:

Wafa Hassan Al-Hayek and Dina Laith Al-Duwairi from Jordan won the prize for their application (Beit Shaar). The application consists of three-interfaces to benefit female employees, local business owners as well as customers in the field of work and marketing.

It is worth mentioning that FAO signed a Letter of Agreement with AWO at the beginning of this year, which includes five activities aiming at empowering rural women in the region and raising community awareness on the obstacles they are facing. This comes in conjunction with the FAO initiatives targeting the promotion of gender equality.


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