CIO Straight Talk - Issue 11 - 34

Blockchain has
transformative
potential beyond
finance and
commerce. One
opportunity:
humanitarian
efforts to protect
the interests
of refugees,
subsistence farmers,
and the millions
of women with no
legal identity.

34

M

y grandmother was never formally given
a name. And whenever I asked her how old she
was, she would tell me she didn't know. Like a lot
of women of her generation in her country, she
didn't have a birth certificate. Her lack of official
identity papers made it easier for her family to
marry her off at age 9 or 10. This also prevented
her from achieving financial independence.
Because she couldn't get a bank account, her
entire savings consisted of three bracelets.

MY GRANDMOTHER WAS NEVER
FORMALLY GIVEN A NAME. AND
WHENEVER I ASKED HER HOW
OLD SHE WAS, SHE WOULD TELL
ME SHE DIDN'T KNOW.

This should be ancient history. But even today,
as many as one billion people around the world
don't have a legal identity. Others have papers
with information, such as their date of birth, that
has been falsified. And, as was the case with my
grandmother, the lack of valid documentation
can have serious consequences. Throughout
the world, especially in Africa, Asia and Latin
America, no papers or fake papers can push a
girl out of school and into the factory, or force
her to become a prostitute or a child bride. The
government might have laws requiring girls to
attend school or prohibiting childhood marriage,
but if a girl doesn't have a birth certificate, we
won't be able to enforce that policy in the village.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 11

http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue11
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/womenintech2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue11
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue10
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue9
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue8
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue7
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue6
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue5
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue4
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue3
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue1
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com