Women & Technology


Digital Citizen Fund

Educating a new generation of women through digital literacy and community building

Team Lead

Roya Mahboob

Solution Summary

In Afghanistan, an estimated 90 percent of citizens have no internet access, and schools often lack the resources needed to teach computer skills. In a country where they’re largely denied autonomy, women and girls are particularly undereducated and account for only 16 percent of the labor force. Digital Citizen Fund (DCF) fills this gap, helping women and girls gain access to technology and obtain the skills needed to succeed in today’s expanding global markets.

DCF sets up IT centers to provide women with digital literacy skills and tools like computers and smartphones. Through the construction of Afghanistan’s first STEAM school, DCF teaches subjects such as International Computer Driving License (ICDL) modules, web design, and blockchain technology. The first to bring blockchain to Afghanistan, DCF helps women start, manage, and scale their businesses through the use of cryptocurrency.

Market Opportunity

  • In Afghanistan alone according to DCF, less than one-third of the population is literate, more than 40 percent face unemployment, and only ten percent have internet access.
  • Among Afghan women, the adult literacy rate is approximately 24.2 percent and more than 50 percent are unemployed.
  • Meanwhile, more than two-thirds of girls in Afghanistan are not in school, according to a Human Rights Watch report. This creates serious disadvantages to competing in the global economy.


  • Built 13 IT and media centers serving 55,000 users
  • Trained 10,000 women as of 2017
  • Received several awards, including the Conrad Foundation’s Spirit of Innovation Award
  • First team to represent Afghanistan at FIRST Robotics Challenge in the US in 2017 and again in Canada in 2018

Organization Goals

  • Expand into an online marketplace where women can buy and sell products on the blockchain, connect with peers, collaborate on ideas, and partner with local chambers of commerce

Existing Partnerships

Digital Citizens Fund currently partners with:

  • FIRST Robotics Competition
  • Neuberger Berman Foundation

Partnership Goals

Digital Citizens Fund seeks:

  • Partners to build local IT centers across Afghanistan providing digital literacy tools for women and children
  • Advocates of using blockchain technology for financial empowerment of women and girls

Solver Team

Organization Type:

New York, NY, USA

Company Stage:

Working in:



Solution Team:

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