Presenting the GSMA mHealth Gender Toolkit
This is a guest blog by Alexandra Tyers. Alex is a gender and ICT4D specialist, and has spent many years designing mobile solutions for women and girls in emerging markets.
Did you know that globally, 1.7 billion women in low and middle income countries do not own their own mobile phone? And that a woman is 14 per cent less likely to own a mobile phone than a man – which rises to 38 per cent less likely in South Asia and 45 per cent less likely in countries like Niger?
And did you also know that even if a woman in a low or middle income country does own her own mobile, she’s very likely to use it in a different way to a man? There is a large and growing gender gap in mobile usage as well as access – women tend to use simple services like voice, with much less use of SMS or more advanced services such as mobile money or mobile data. There are a number of different reasons for this gap in women’s access to, and use, of mobile, which include affordability, social and cultural norms, fears around security and harassment and lower levels of digital and technical literacy.
When designing an mHealth service that is aimed at women as well as men, it’s important to understand how and why women may use an mHealth service less than men in that context. And once you understand that, you can then devise ways to overcome any female-specific barriers in your product and service design.
On 29 August 2017, the GSMA mHealth team and gender and ICT specialist Alexandra Tyers hosted a webinar to provide key insights and gender-sensitive tips. In the webinar, we looked at how service providers and MNOs can improve their mHealth service to be more gender inclusive and to reach more women, using practical, actionable steps that participants can take, and use real examples from other mHealth services that have been successful in targeting women.
You can watch the full recording and download the toolkit below.
Topics covered in the webinar include:
- The business case for including women
- Market opportunity and assessment
- User testing
- Marketing and distribution
- Monitoring and evaluation
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