WISENET (Women in ICTs Shared Excellence Network) is the International Bureau’s convening platform that aims to leverage the experience, resources and connections of the international ICT community to better the situation of women, their communities and their countries. As part of this work, the FCC has invited prominent women and men in technology from around the world to post blogs sharing their experiences.
Imagine if you picked up a smartphone and didn’t know how to use it. The frustration of of holding such a powerful device in the palm of your hand but not being able to use it could be enormous. For many technically illiterate women in the developing world, navigating a smartphone or even a more basic feature phone is a real challenge.
Based on research performed in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea and Uganda, as part of the GSMA mWomen Program, we know that on average, resource-poor women are 22% less likely to want a mobile phone because they would not know how to use it. Yet we also know from other GSMA research that mobile phones afford women critical entrepreneurial opportunities, security, and a greater sense of family connection.
Mobile phone use in the developing world is exploding, yet women in these countries are at a high risk of being left behind, missing out on opportunities and services from education to healthcare. Making the user experience easier would open up a multitude of possibilities.
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