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                                 In this issue:

Pakistan: Digital purdah through social media use? 
South Africa: UN Women launches mLearning tool

 
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Gender and Mobiles Newsletter
Volume 4 Issue 4
Note from the editors
 
This newsletter is a true labour of love for us - and it was started as an attempt to address the lack of focus of gender and mobile issues, particularly mobile learning. Two years on, we've found this partnership so fruitful that we've gone into business together, recently launching Panoply Digital Ltd as part of a team of five ICT4D and mLearning specialists.

We will continue the focus on gender and mobile learning as part of Panoply Digital's portfolio of services - please do get in touch if you'd like to know more!

Social media use in Pakistan: reinforcing gender norms?

This recent research in Pakistan found that mobile phones and social media could reinforce existing social norms. Women were much more likely to use Whatsapp rather than Facebook, compared to men: Whatsapp means private communication with people that users already know, whereas Facebook is communication with people that users don’t know. Whatsapp allows the practice of purdah and seclusion of women from the public sphere to be maintained, something the author calls Digital Purdah.
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From factory worker to mobile phone screen mogul

Stories like Zhou Qunfei’s are rare in China: starting from humble beginnings, Ms Zhou was born in a rural part of the country and toiled in a watch glass factory for about $1 a day. She quickly grew tired of the 16+ hour workdays, but when she decided to quit, her former employer decided to give her a promotion that changed everything.

After learning the art of making watch glass, she decided to start her own company and do things better. One day in 2003, she received a call from Motorola to help them make mobile phone screens from glass, something uncommon at that time. The rest, as they say, is history. Now Qunfei is the wealthiest female, self-made billionaire in the world with a company valued at $8 billion. Her top clients include Apple and Samsung.

We look forward to seeing what this woman in mobile achieves next.

Read more.

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UN Women launches iLearn: mLearning for SA female entrepreneurs

Female small business owners and entrepreneurs in South Africa get a boost from UN Women with the introduction of iLearn, a mobile learning knowledge exchange platform. Launched in July 2015, iLearn provides a space for women to share their stories about starting a business, along with the challenges and successes along the way. The platform is available for free in the country, and is in partnership with Internet.org.

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Video: Young Black Girls CAN Code featuring Kelia Banks

Coder. Hacker. Cheerleader. Budding Track Star. Daughter. Is there nothing she can’t do? Probably not! In this inspiring article and YouTube clip, young Kelia Banks busts down a few stereotypes with her speech “Undefinable me.” She shares her journey about how she taught herself to code when she was just 9 years old. Maybe we need to start a “Girls in Mobile” spotlight?

Check out the video at the bottom of the article to see why.
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When women stopped coding

This fascinating blog post shows how the number of women studying computer science plummeted during the 1980s, exploring the link between the beginnings of marketing the computer as a man's arena, and the decreasing number of women studying computer science.

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Mobile Mothers in Rwanda
 
The push to lower the high maternal mortality rate in Rwanda gets a boost from TTC’s Health[e]Foundation, who were recently awarded a grant to combine eLearning and mLearning to train community health workers and midwives.
Book release: Women and ICT in Africa and the Middle East
 
This recent book from GRACE Research Network pulls together recent research from fourteen countries across Africa and the Middle East, exploring the role of ICTs in female empowerment.
 
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Mapping sexual harassment in Pakistan
 
The Blue Veins organization in Pakistan uses a web-based mapping tool to document instances of sexual harassment in Pakistani schools and universities. Users report cases through Twitter, SMS and email, which are then mapped to show hotspots.
 
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The next issue of the Gender & Mobiles Newsletter is scheduled to be published in October 2015. We welcome your contributions!
The concept for the Gender & Mobiles newsletter was created by Ronda Zelezny-Green. This issue was sourced and compiled by Ronda Zelezny-Green and Alexandra Tyers.

Please bring any errors or omissions to the attention of the editors. Revisions will be addressed in the subsequent issue.

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