Alex Fedorak

Empowering Women How Motiv and Bitcoin Transformed Women’s Lives in Peru:

When writing this piece, I thought I’d turn to pop culture, specifically popular music lyrics to build a theme that I could use to help explain what Motiv is doing in Peru. Ironically, most of my searches turned up songs about empowering women. That makes sense, as women are finally getting some of the respect they deserve in their professions. Most recently the US Women’s soccer team won their litigation to not only receive compensation for past inequalities regarding pay, but have also secured a promise for equal pay going forward. Bravo.

As I reflect on our work in Peru, it’s apparent that we have an almost overwhelming response from women in the communities who are not only looking out for their families, but also themselves as they see the opportunity we provide through our services and Bitcoin. They’re getting their chance for a better life through our programs – setting them on the path toward empowerment.

Their circumstance is quite different from most women in first-world countries, but they share the common thread of living in a male dominated society, demonstrating different starting points with a common goal of empowerment.

The women in Peru are coming to us to learn skills they can use toward a better life for them and their families. The pandemic hit Peru harder than most countries with many businesses closed and jobs lost. Most of these jobs were held by men (both skilled and unskilled labor), with some successfully finding other jobs (often with less pay) but many if not most remained unemployed.

With these communities’ needs to make money more paramount than ever, Motiv arrived on the scene with our multi-tiered program designed to give people a path toward self-sustainability. While the men were out looking for work, often leaving their villages to seek employment elsewhere, the women were attracted to what we were offering; something beyond a handout, something that was sustainable, and something that shone a bright light on opportunity and gave back control of their lives.

I now find myself deviating from music and turning instead to the Gates Foundation and their definition of women’s economic empowerment. “We define women’s economic empowerment as the transformative process by which women and girls go from having limited power, voice, and choice at home and in the economy to having the skills, resources, and opportunities needed to access and compete equitably in markets and the agency to control and benefit from economic gains.”

Three key outcomes that allow us (the Gates Foundation) to assess the extent of women’s economic empowerment:

  1. Access to income and assets
  2. Control of and benefit from economic gains
  3. The power to make decisions.

The women who have gone through the Motiv program have:

  1. Received access to Bitcoin and its decentralized banking
  2. Learned new skills and trades
  3. Discovered the opportunity to expand on these skills and start a small business

And they have only just begun. Through word-of-mouth, other communities have become energized to learn more about how Motiv has transformed lives, paving the way for more potential micro-economies. The future has become brighter for these women and their families as Bitcoin has become even more prolific in Peru.

And the pop music connection?


by Kelly Clarkson

You know I was broke down, I had hit the ground
I was crying out, I couldn't make no sound
No one hears the silent tears collecting
You know I had lost hope, I was all alone
Never been so long till you came along
Teacher, I feel the dots connecting
Beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
Cause I can take on so much more than I had ever dreamed
So beat down on me, beat down like a waterfall
Cause baby, I am ready to be free