Through GSMA We Care, Argentina mobile operators announce free 144 calls to fight gender-based violence

Claro, Personal and Movistar Add 144 to List of Free Numbers, Supporting National Women’s Institute of the Argentine Ministry of Social Development 

13 December 2017, Buenos Aires: Argentina’s mobile operators today pledged to support the work of the National Women’s Institute of the Argentine Ministry of Social Development in the fight to eradicate violence against women, ensuring that calls to 144 are free of charge for all mobile users in Argentina. The announcement is part of the GSMA’s We Care campaign, which focuses on mobile industry actions to contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a joint initiative of the Ministry of Social Development’s Under-Secretariat of Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development, operators Claro, Personal and Movistar today signed a letter of commitment to support comprehensive protection initiatives to prevent and eradicate violence against women. “As SDG 5 indicates, empowering women and girls is fundamental for the development of society, and mobile technology is an excellent tool for tackling gender-based violence,” said Sebastián Cabello, Head of Latin America, GSMA.

Nationwide, number 144 provides information, guidance, advice and support for women in situations of violence across Argentina 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, free of charge. To ensure a comprehensive, coherent response to gender-based violence, the 144 team is comprised of operators and coordinators, most of whom are professional psychologists and social workers trained to address violence against women.

Any woman who is in a situation of violence or has a relative, friend or acquaintance in this situation can call 144 for advice and support. The 144 number is managed by the National Women’s Institute, which makes government resources available for anyone who is suffering violence and seeks public collaboration to help women leave this situation behind.

The announcement was attended by Susana Balbo, Chair of Women 20 (W20) in Argentina, the official G20 committee that promotes women’s economic empowerment and increases awareness regarding gender issues. During the G20 – Argentina 2018, the GSMA will serve as the topic chair of the digital inclusion theme within the W20 group, underscoring its commitment to the SDGs and initiatives to close the digital gender gap.

“The contribution of the GSMA is invaluable and we aim to multiply initiatives such as the support for the 144. Women need technology for their labour and financial inclusion. Digital inclusion is a strategic area that must be developed and transformed into a platform of daily use, women should become familiar with it and realise that without digital development, their growth will always be delayed,” commented Balbo.

“The first line of attack to combat violence against women is contact: the first voice that listens to you, supports you and knows how to talk to you and guide you. That’s what 144 is all about. We applaud the mobile operators’ pledge to add specific, valuable resources to fight this problem and are very grateful to them. A woman who overcomes this situation is an empowered woman who becomes the driving force of a thriving family, a developing community and an advancing country. With this initiative, we hope that everyone, whatever their role is, can help to end this scourge,” said Victoria Morales Gorleri, Under-Secretary of Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development, Ministry of Social Development.

“It is very important for us at Claro to support actions that benefit society and to work together with the GSMA through the We Care campaign to reinforce this commitment. On this occasion, we support the initiative of the Ministry of Social Development in the struggle for the elimination of violence against women,” said Juan Pablo Tognetti, Regulatory Affairs Manager of Claro Argentina.

“Telecom develops valuable actions for the community, such as the one proposed by the GSMA, the Ministry of Social Development and the National Institute of Women, to join efforts against violence against women,” said Pedro Lopez Matheu, Director of Government Relations, Communication and Media of Telecom. “As a socially responsible company, Telecom has an outstanding commitment in the care and good use of technology, as well as in the promotion of tools to ensure people’s well-being. This We Care initiative reflects the spirit that we encourage from our company.”

“At Telefónica, we are focused on leveraging technology to defend women’s rights, combatting violence against women, protecting their integrity and promoting their empowerment in society. The signing of this agreement ratifies our commitment to responsibly promote gender equality and respect for diversity, adhering to the ‘Principles for the Empowerment of Women’ promoted by the United Nations,” assured Agustina Catone, Director of Responsible Business of Telefónica Argentina and Fundación Telefónica.

Underscoring the mobile industry’s commitment to the SDGs, the GSMA We Care campaign is an initiative of the region’s leading mobile operators to ensure all users can enjoy the life-changing benefits of mobile technology in a safe and secure environment. To achieve this, operators have joined forces to take on a series of commitments in every country in the region where mobile phones and networks can provide solutions to social problems

The We Care initiative has been launched in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru, and will continue to expand across the region. We Care Argentina was first launched in April 2016 with a pledge from the country’s mobile operators to tackle handset theft and support child protection.