Development through mobiles
July 12th, 2008

Syed Mohammad Ali of the Pakistanian Daily Times writes: “Unless the prevailing range of gender-related hurdles in availing the opportunities being provided by communication technologies, it is likely that women may become further marginalised from the economic, social, and political mainstream of their countries”

Numerous studies have pointed towards the positive relationship between phone penetration and national incomes.

But there are also simultaneous concerns that ICT benefits are only being availed by a small segment of populations within the developing world. Here we consider on-ground impacts that a specific communication technology like mobile phones can have on the lives of common people.

The simplicity and increasing affordability of mobile technology has allowed it to penetrate developing country markets fairly quickly.

As mobile penetration levels increase, the overall gender divide may reduce. But there will still be need for proactive government and NGO support to make poor women familiar with these technologies so that their potential benefits diffuse through to all segments of developing societies.

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