Women empowerment is a topic that has been handled by many organisations and governments. These bodies alone have not been able empower women and help their living or working conditions.
The blockchain technology has been adapted in different industries and has changed how people interact. The impact of this technology to women has been explored and will increase as its adoption rises. The reach of the technology is wider than just powering cryptocurrencies. As such, the technology can be used to empower women in different regions.
Education is one of the fundamental rights but certain regions faced with poverty and national calamity cannot offer this right. In Africa, many girls are denied the right to education because of different cultural practices and beliefs. Early marriages and teenage practices are some of the barriers to education. Lack of education is also fueled by lack of knowledge about family planning, sexuality, reproductive health and poor access to health services.
Blockchain can be used for women empowerment by saving information on the blockchain. Once this information is added on the blockchain, it is hard to corrupt and delete. This information can then be shared with women who can use it to learn and understand different topics.
School going girls can easily share and access this information to help them make more informed choices. Additionally, young women will have a pool of information where they can learn different technical and non-technical topics to help them further their dreams and increase their knowledge.
Sometimes women suffer when signing or reading certain contracts due to ignorance or fear. This works against them and they may pay more than their male counterparts or have to sign contracts that do not favour them. Customary, constitutional, structural laws and society agreements also affect property ownership for women. For instance, women own less than 20% of the world’s land.
In Africa for instance, a lot of cultural practices do not support women owning land. Many fathers do not leave any land or property to their daughters. Some practices dictate that women belong to their husbands thus cannot own property. With such patriarchal power structures which govern many communities and households, women owning property is hard.
Blockchain helps in women empowerment because of smart contracts enabled by the technology. Through these, women can protect their rights, write their requirements for a contract to hold and execute contracts without being held back by any laws against them. The language for the smart contracts is simple and easy to understand. The legal binding contracts will empower women to own more property and have more deals to empower their growth. There are no government officials or male relatives can stop a smart contract of dispute its legality.
Documentation of records
Gone are the days when people had to travel with their documents in a folder. Women living in camps and other poverty stricken areas have a solution. It is easier to save data on the blockchain and access it any time from any location. Women can save their personal and official data on the blockchain and have no fear of ever losing this data.
This serves as women empowerment because it allows women to be more independent and safe. With their information and that of their loved ones safe, it is easier to work, live and also move from location to the next. Women who suffer blackmail because someone holds their important documents can be free. It is also easier to store information about the growth and development of their children on the blockchain. Here, they can track all changes at ease.
Through this, women can also access more opportunities, bank loans and sign life changing contracts since all their information is available and can be traced down to the specific dates.
Money transfer and payments
A high percentage of women do not have bank accounts and access to traditional money transfer services. This limits their chances of getting financial help from relatives or organizations. Insecurity also affects women which can affect their methods of holding and transferring money. According to a study in 2013, 47% of women own a bank account compared to 55% of men globally.
The blockchain enables peer-to-peer transactions which are fast and cheap. Users eliminate middlemen such as banks hence women without bank accounts can access the services. The wallets used for the transfer of the cryptocurrencies are free to download and operate, which will help more women from all walks of life.
Bitcoin is being accepted by many establishments and its adaptation will increase with time. This will help in women empowerment as they can buy, sell and transfer their assets easily without the need to access a bank. The discretion supported by blockchain will also enable women to transact without fear to being identified especially in cases where it is illegal for women to own bank accounts or property.
Women who lack access to reproductive health services and information have a high likelihood of getting more unplanned for children, which contribute to poverty. The prevalent gender inequality has deprived a lot of women especially in developing countries the ability to refuse certain practices. This keeps them uninformed about prevention of diseases and infections. The result is that the women are last in line for care and life-saving treatment.
The lack of education for women contributes to rate of child malnutrition and mortality. The number of women who are aware and can access fertility clinics and consultations in Africa is very low. Many conditions that affect women are not addressed and women who have these conditions suffer years of pain, humiliation, embarrassment and loneliness.
With blockchain, women will get education which will eradicate ignorance. The number of women who can access mobile phones in Africa and the world in general has increased over the years. With these phones, information on the blockchain can be shared and passed on more easily.
Keeping of records is also easier and women can have all their medical data in a safe place where they can access and get professional assistance on different conditions. Healthcare platforms on the blockchain can help provide free consultation and information to users. This will help women all over the world get information on how to handle and control certain symptoms and also know when to look for a specialist. The blockchain will empower women with knowledge which can reduce certain outdated practices that risk women health and help them nurture their families.
Women are currently under represented in the blockchain space. There are many opportunities that can be used for women empowerment through this technology and its implementation. It is easy for women to learn about this technology because of the available information on the internet. Also, many blockchains use an open code which women can learn and help develop. Therefore women can have successful careers which can improve their lives because of the blockchain technology.