London: Mats Granryd, Director General of the GSMA, will be joined by a panel of esteemed speakers for an exploration of issues surrounding the mobile phone gender gap at the Women Deliver 2016 conference this week in Copenhagen. In addition to Mr. Granryd, the session, “Accelerating Digital and Financial Inclusion for Women” taking place on Wednesday, 18 May, 15:00-16:00, features the following speakers:
- Her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development
- Ms. Sarah Hendriks, Director, Gender Equality, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
- Ms. Rachel Samren, Executive Vice President, External Affairs, Millicom Group
“It is dismaying that, in today’s increasingly connected world, women are still being left behind,” said Granryd. “A significant gender gap in mobile phone ownership and usage exists in low- and middle-income countries, particularly in mobile internet and mobile money services. Access to mobile is key in ensuring digital and financial inclusion for women.”
The panel will highlight action that can be taken to accelerate digital and financial inclusion for women and build networks for future action. Closing the mobile gender gap will bring important benefits to women and society as a whole. GSMA studies have found that mobile phone ownership and usage can make women feel more connected and safe, provide access to critical services and facilitate increased employment opportunities. Further, providing women greater access to mobile can help achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, particularly those relating to gender, healthcare, employment, financial services and education.
The GSMA launched the Connected Women Commitment Initiative to reduce the mobile gender gap in February. Through the Commitment Initiative, mobile operators are making formal commitments to increase the proportion of women in their mobile internet and/or mobile money customer base in developing countries by 2020.
“The mobile industry will not be able to close the gender gap working in isolation,” continued Granryd. “Deliberate action is required from all stakeholders – industry, the development community, governments – to increase digital and financial inclusion for women and deliver the important benefits this enables.”
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide, uniting nearly 800 operators with more than 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and internet companies, as well as organisations in adjacent industry sectors. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress, Mobile World Congress Shanghai and the Mobile 360 Series conferences.
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