Club De Madrid 2012 Young Leadership Award goes to Leila Janah

This prestigious award came during the closing ceremony of the Club de Madrid Annual Conference. This year’s theme “Harnessing 21st Century Solutions: A Focus on Women” brought together world-renowned leaders and diplomats to explore specific challenges to women’s broader participation in society given the current economic and political realities. The conference aimed to identify and share best practices and recommendations that will allow governments and the private sector to create enabling environments for women to realize their full economic and political potential.  

“She is committed to helping women use the Internet to become more connected to the modern economy instead of being trapped in yesterday’s economy. She has given them a chance to something to look forward to when they wake up,” said Wim Kok.

Leila Janah is recognized for her work with Samasource, a non-profit that brings technology skills training and paying digital work to poor women and youth in developing countries. Samasource achieves this by connecting women and youth living off less than $3 a day to microwork: small, digital tasks taken from a larger project that can be performed using the Internet. Samasource pro­vides a fair wage and valu­able job train­ing skills to those previously excluded from the formal sector. This enables people to gain skills, earn a living wage and break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families. 75% of Samasource workers move up to higher-paying work or higher education.  “Beyond receiving much-needed income, paying work causes women to start viewing themselves as equal members of society. They start voting, demanding equal access, and investing in the healthcare and education of their children,” says Janah. 

Since its founding in 2008, Samasource has created more than 3,400 jobs for poor women and youth in nine countries around the world, including Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, India, Haiti and South Africa, and has disbursed over $2.4 million in living wages.

For more information on the 2012 Club de Madrid Young Leadership Award, click here.