In this issue:

UN Women backs mobile use by women
Bangladesh's "Info Ladies" give new meaning to mobile learning
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Gender and Mobile/Learning Newsletter
Volume 2, Issue 5

UN Women Using Mobile as a Tool to Inform, Empower Women

UN Women is increasingly exploring the potential use of mobile technology to inform and help empower women. For example, in Rio de Janeiro, smartphone apps are being used to conduct safety audits on violence against women and girls in public places. More than 300 people have received training on use of mobiles for mapping gender violence and preventing further violence against girls and women.

“Can we make greater use of technology for development and for the empowerment of women? I think we can,” the newly-appointed UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, stated.

To find out more, visit the UN Women website.
Intel's "She Will Connect" to Link Girls & Women to Digital Literacy-Building Opportunities
Intel has announced a new program, "She Will Connect", which is aimed at expanding digital literacy skills to young women in developing countries. The program will initially be carried out in Africa, where Intel hopes to reach 5 million girls and young women, and reduce the gender gap by 50 percent. The majority of people in Africa connect to the Internet through mobile devices, making education on how to use mobiles and the mobile Internet important digital literacy activities.

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Giving New Meaning to Mobile Learning: Meet the InfoLadies in Bangladesh

D.Net, a Bangladeshi social enterprise, is working to address issues of access to ICTs and female empowerment through their “Info Ladies” project. InfoLadies, of which there are 53 across Bangladesh, bike through Bangladeshi villages and provide rural people access to ICTs and the Internet.
In a country with only 4% Internet penetration and a massive gender digital divide, the InfoLadies are providing an important service. They provide education to communities through D.Net’s digital learning tools and empower adolescent girls by providing a platform for them to discuss issues such as reproductive health and early marriage. They also provide a voice to communities by creating access to government services, to information and raising awareness of their rights. These services have been particularly important for rural women.

Large Gender Gap in (mobile) Internet Access also Represents Huge Potential

A new UN Broadband Commission research report on broadband and gender, released in September 2013, shows that there is a significant gender divide in access to ICTs and the Internet. Currently, of the world’s 2.8 billion Internet users, only 1.3 billion are women compared to 1.5 billion men – a gap of 200 million. The report estimates that this significant gap could increase to up to 350 million by 2016 if action is not taken. 
The report highlights that  bringing 600 million more women online represents an increase of $18 million in global GDP. Mobile access to the Internet by women can be buoyed with targeted outreach efforts and education/awareness raising programs.
To read the report, click here.

GenderIT Conference at the University of Siegen, 7-9 May 2014

This English language conference is focused on the intersection of gender and information technology. Questions will be posed regarding the differences and similarities between men's and women's use of (mobile) technology for education and training. There is a call for papers on topics such as gender-specific aspects of IT appropriation and use.

mLearning + mHealth = Healthier Moms and Babies
Through the innovative mobile learning program, "text4baby," expectant mothers in the US can receive three free text messages each week throughout their pregnancy and up to the baby's first birthday. Texts inform new moms about topics such as prenatal care, birth defects, and developmental milestones. text4baby is available in both English and Spanish languages.

Visit the text4baby website for more information.

Zimbabwe's First Tech Hub, Hypercube, to Actively Engage Women

Zimbabwe’s first technology hub, Hypercube, will open in November 2013 and seek to encourage Zimbabwean women to take part in technology.
Hypercube will  work in the mobile devices for development space, and will help make technology more accessible, especially to women. The hub will tackle social and cultural factors to make the hub a safe social spaces where women feel comfortable visiting.

GSMA mWomen Innovation Grants: Round 4!
The GSMA mWomen team has launched of the fourth round of Innovation Fund grants, which funds projects that increase women’s access to and use of mobile phones and value-added services. The fund targets projects in Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa/Middle East and South/Southeast Asia. There are two streams, one for mobile phone operators and the other for NGOs.

Apply today, as it would be great to see women/girls and mobile learning projects benefit from this opportunity!
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The next issue of the Gender & Mobile/Learning Newsletter is scheduled to be published in December 2013. We welcome your contributions!
This newsletter was created, compiled and edited by Ronda Zelezny-Green and Alexandra Tyers. 

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

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