Mobile Industry Supporting Digital Inclusion for Women

June 8, 2018

Whats’s the W20 (Women20)?

Women 20 is a transnational network that brings together women leaders of civil society, businesses, entrepreneurship ventures and think tanks. The main goal of W20 is to influence the agenda of the decision-making bodies of the G20, with a view to impacting public policies in order to increase women’s participation in the economies and societies of their countries.

Creating more inclusive societies entails improving women’s quality of life and, fundamentally, ensuring their access to the labor market, quality education, health services and political participation.

With Argentina as the first South American country to preside over the G20, the group that brings together the twenty most important economies in the world, the W20 takes on new strength within engagement groups. Led by Susana Balbo, Chair of the group, the W20 seeks to continue sustaining the development of the key topics addressed by previous W20 presidencies.

What’s GSMA’s role within W20?

As part of its role within the W20 (Women 20) group, the GSMA has backed a series of recommendations to promote digital inclusion for women to be presented to the G20 member states later this year. The GSMA is Topic Chair of the Digital Inclusion theme within the W20, which is advising the G20 on issues around gender equality and the economic empowerment of women, supporting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG #5 (Gender Equality). It is the GSMA’s role to strengthen dialogue processes among delegates and to help ensure the impact of the leader’s summit.

Why was GSMA convened to lead the conversation on digital inclusion?

The GSMA is committed to supporting increased digital and financial inclusion for women, reflecting the fact that mobile is the primary way for people to access the internet in many parts of the world. However, according to the latest GSMA research, women in low- and middle-income countries are 26 percent less likely than men to use mobile internet.
As part of the GSMA’s Connected Women initiative, 36 mobile operators across Africa, Asia and Latin America have made 51 formal commitments to reduce the gender gap in their mobile money or mobile internet customer base, driving an effort to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women. To date, the Connected Women programme and its mobile operator partners have delivered life-enhancing services to more than 22 million women.

As well as the Connected Women programme and its participation in W20, the GSMA also supports efforts to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women via its participation in W20; the EQUALS initiative; the GSMA Connected Women programme; Women4Tech; the We Care initiative in Latin America; and the #BetterFuture campaign.

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