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                                 In this issue:

Learning about Living's mobile learning work with youth
Mobile midwife service launches in Africa and Asia

 
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Gender and Mobiles Newsletter
Volume 3 Issue 5

Cultivating reproductive health and life skills for young women through mobile

As one of the pioneering organizations to use information and communication technologies for development in the dawn of the Internet era, OneWorld has a long history of working with vulnerable populations in countries including Rwanda, Mali, Senegal, Morocco, Egypt and Cambodia.  
 
"Learning about Living" (LaL) is a cross-media OneWorld program that leverages the ICTs most appropriate to the context of implementation. Frequently, mobile is a medium for LaL activities, which focus on young women's empowerment for 
teaching and learning about sexual reproductive health and life skills: 

To date, a question and answer service
on sexual and reproductive health and rights accessible through SMS, e-mail, the web, and Facebook has received 1.5 million queries, primarily from mobile phones.

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Connecting pregnant mothers and midwives through mobile in East Timor

Mobile phone ownership in rural areas of East Timor is 70%, but use of midwives or doctors for delivery is just 19%. More than half of all the babies born in East Timor are born at home, and the rate of maternal and infant mortality is relatively high.

 

The Mobile Moms project aims at reducing maternal mortality in East Timor by sending SMS maternal health messages twice a week to pregnant women. The service also connects the pregnant women with local midwives: the women send SMS with questions, and midwives call them back for free.

 

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Reaching half the market:
women and mobile money

A new report from the GSMA Connected Women and Mobile Money for the Unbanked teams highlights how women may have higher barriers to accessing and using mobile money – despite representing up to 50% of the potential customer base in each market. In addition, mobile money providers are often not tracking their gender data – only 32% of providers in the survey were aware of the gender split of their users.

The paper outlines some strategies how mobile money providers can adopt in order to increase penetration amongst women. These include using female role models in marketing campaigns, and scheduling campaigns for times when women can see them. Other strategies include using roving, female agents, and including financial education in marketing activities.


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Lizzie's Creations: mLearning apps by a woman, for women and children in Africa

Nigeria's Elizabeth Kperrun has a simple mission: To develop mobile and web applications uniquely aimed at the development and education of women and children in Africa. Now a finalist in the She Leads Africa female entrepreneur incubator, "Lizzie", as she is more commonly referred to, has brought to the world AfroTalez.

AfroTalez is a mobile app hosted on the MTN app store that teaches children African folktales in a bid to help preserve the rich history of the continent. To learn more about Lizzie, and AfroTalez, just watch this short YouTube video.
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Over 2.2 billion women are offline

A new research report from McKinsey finds that there are 4.4 billion people worldwide who are offline – but of those offline people, more than half of them are women.

The study echoes findings from other previous studies in that the reasons for this are to do gender disparities in the wider context and barriers to mobile adoption. Cost and affordability is a big issue: women tend to not have the disposable income for mobile phones or data plans, compared to men. In addition, the McKinsey team identified literacy as being a major barrier to adoption – and this is more prevalent in women, with 25% of women in developing contexts being illiterate, compared to 14% of men.

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Vodacom Congo Welcomes Murielle Lorilloux as MD

The mobile telecoms sector gained another woman in a leadership role with the appointment of Murielle Lorilloux as Managing Director for Vodacom Congo. Ms. Lorilloux's mandate is to expand network coverage to rural areas of the country.

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MomConnect: a public mHealth service in South Africa

South Africa recently launched its first national public mHealth service, called MomConnect. Pregnant women register at a government health facility, and they are then sent personalised SMS messages about their pregnancy and the gestation of their babies. Messages are available in a variety of languages, including Xhosa, Zulu, English and Afrikaans. 
 
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How to make your mHealth initiative more inclusive to women
 

A recent post by Jack O'Rourke provides four tips for ensuring that women are included in mHealth initiatives. The author notes that collaboration will be a key component of any such work.

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The next issue of the Gender & Mobiles Newsletter is scheduled to be published in December 2014. 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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