Google teams with MARD to help women use internet

Mumbai: Search giant Google on Tuesday launched a new social campaign in association with Bollywood actor-director Farhan Akhtar’s initiative MARD, to increase internet literacy among women in the country.

The jointly-promoted campaign called ‘ReachForTheSky’ will look to generate awareness about the need to get women online. It will also encourage existing users to help get more women online and spread awareness of gender equality and women empowerment.

Google India had first time launched a ‘digital literacy’ initiative campaign called ‘Helping Women Get Online’ (HWGO) in collaboration with Intel, HUL and Axis Bank late last year.

“The first phase has been very successful. In the last 12 months, the number of women using the internet has grown 35% as against 31% by men. This is for the first time that women have surpassed men in using internet. This is just the start of the programme as it is only 10 months when we launched it (the first phase),” Google India Vice-President and Managing Director Rajan Anandan, said.

“As the company ramps up its activities and takes many of them to the next level, it expects further acceleration in the campaign,” Anandan added.

Despite India inching closer to become the second largest internet users’ country, the number of women using internet is lower than in most of the countries, he said adding, “Empowering the young women population with information and internet related tools could transform India’s future.”

“We need to build on this start and join the campaign with MARD to encourage women to come online,” he added.

Google India Head for Marketing Sandeep Menon said the company’s aim is to help bring 50 million women online in the country.

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