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Binance empowers Afghan women via Code to Inspire

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Source: Binance

Bitcoin – the largest cryptocurrency by market cap – was the first ever successful digital currency in the history of humankind. The coin that made its debut in the market with the sole purpose of liberating people from third-party services has since evolved to be much more than that.

So far, the king coin has caused the disruption of all market forces on the back of blockchain technology, forcing the government and other entities to take notice. This past year, the main highlight was the disruption of the art industry via the mainstream of non-fungible tokens. That said, the other changes and developments are by no means going unnoticed. 

While there are several initiatives and developments introduced, the one that makes an impact in both the short and the long run are the ones linked to philanthropic work. Several companies and organizations – including crypto and non-crypto entities – have started to adopt cryptocurrencies as a means to bring about a positive change across the globe. Even some celebrities and artists have dabbled into the cryptoverse in order to pool in aid for a cause. 

Crypto for change

The donations in crypto have been made for cancer organizations, coronavirus-relief, clean water initiatives, natural disaster relief, hunger assistance, and many more. The pioneer of such charities would be Binance Charity – the blockchain charity foundation wing of Binance. Recently, the organization took an initiative that has so far not been undertaken by any other crypto-organization – dabbling in Afghanistan’s crisis to provide relief.

In December 2021, Binance Charity announced a partnership with Code to Inspire – a US-based non-profit organization. The organization aims to help and empower women in Afghanistan by providing access to tech education and jobs. 

Notably, the organization was founded by an Afghan refugee – Fereshteh Forough. Forough completed her Bachelor’s Degree in computer science in Afghanistan, after which she finished her Masters in Germany. 

Binance Charity has signed for a three-month pilot project with the organization. The main aim is to provide aid to 100 young women in Afghanistan who have lost their jobs and access to education under the Taliban regime.

In a talk with Helen Hai – Head of Binance Charity, Forough revealed that this move would help “100 families to survive in the humanitarian crisis that is happening in Afghanistan.” She pointed out that most of her students were the breadwinners of their family, and given the situation in the country, their access to financial resources was cut down. However, with crypto and technology as a whole in the picture, there continues to be hope. She said,

“For the first time our students will be able to access the global economy to receive funds in a very safe and secure and private way and experience the virtual world of cryptocurrency.”

Furthermore, speaking about the partnership with Binance Charity, the founder expressed that both the organizations are on the same wavelength in terms of values. This includes empowering people, valuing equality, providing educational resources, creating sustainable resources, and appreciating the importance of blockchain technology. 

Taliban’s Terror 

Everyone’s quite familiar with the fall of Afghanistan in 2021. The people of the country lost their democratic rights at the hands of the Taliban, who has taken over after nearly two decades. 

With the takeover, one of the main concerns raised across the globe was what would happen to women’s rights under the Taliban regime. Back in the 90s, Taliban did not allow women to access education, earn their own livelihood, or even step outside the house without a male escort. The Taliban assured that the case would be different this time around and that women’s right to education would be preserved under their regime. However, over six months since the takeover, the organization is yet to take steps upholding women rights. 

Fereshteh Forough stated that girls in secondary school, high-school, and public universities are not attending their classes, including female professors. She also stated that safehouses that were created for women subjected to violence are being closed, and they are now put at risk. Women activists, human rights defenders, and journalists are being targeted with the intention of making them “voiceless.” She said,

“So certainly, ban on girls and women’s education in secondary high-school and public university is a big issue, telling women to go back home and not allow them to continue the work that they do. It’s a big issue.”

She added,

“After the US invasion to Afghanistan and the fall of Taliban in 2001, during this past two decades, […] gain this minimum amount of freedom, to travel, to get education, to be in the workforce. But now, all of a sudden, in a span of one week, that’s been taken and there’s no clarity in their future. “

Human Rights Watch believes that Afghan women are “losing their rights and dreams and risks to their basic survival.” Moreover, an article by the United Nations suggests that it would get worse from hereon. 

Tech for taking in and not taking out

While the world has shut its doors for Afghans and the country slipping into a dangerous level of poverty, technology seems to have presented itself as a way out of financial crisis and global inclusion. With girls’ safety being at risk – wherein even stepping out could be dangerous – Forough stated that technology has shown itself as a tool for empowerment. 

According to her, students are accessing education from home as all the programs have been shifted online. Women too are able to earn money by gaining access to a global economy in a safe manner as they are provided with resources. She said,

“We gave them laptops, we gave them internet connection. The girls who are working remotely, they are working with me, and they are getting paid in cryptocurrency in a very safe way and they are able to cash it out when they want.”

The collaboration with Binance Charity has enabled women – many of whom are the sole breadwinners of their families – to receive funds in a safe, secure, and private way. It has also enabled them to “open their eyes” as they have started to learn about this space and the financial inclusion opportunities presented. Furthermore, Forough argued that even the NFT craze has been aiding their cause as the women are being introduced to a space where they could earn money through their art, adding that some NFT artists are also donating to their cause.

“I received a message from girls who have never experienced receiving money in such a way – so safe, we don’t feel someone will confiscate the money from us, we also felt very empowered because we know something that we never knew.”

This initiative stays true to Binance’s motto of “Leave no one behind” and the impact this would have on a broader scale in Afghanistan’s ecosystem can be gauged with passing time.

Disclaimer: This is a paid post and should not be considered news/advice

With Masters in Mass communication and journalism, Anjali's interests lie in blockchain technology adoption across emerging economies.

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