Ooredoo, the GSMA, and their partners announced a number of major new initiatives for the GSMA Connected Women Programme at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York recently.
The Connected Women Programme will undertake studies that will offer critical insights into the socio-economic benefits of greater inclusion of women in the telecommunications sector. The findings will be used by partners – including Ooredoo – to develop initiatives and services for female consumers and employees.
Ooredoo will draw on the data to provide tailored services for women in Myanmar, aiming to connect millions of women to mobile and internet services– many of whom have never had access to the Internet before.
In addition, Ooredoo’s Indosat will draw on the data to launch new services designed for women in Indonesia. Indosat will launch a new start-up called Wobe, targeting lower to middle income Indonesian women with voice, data and internet services.
Chelsea Clinton, Vice Chair, Clinton Foundation, said: “‘Ensuring that women can fully participate in this growing mobile economy by joining the mobile workforce and lending their creative talent to what these devices can do is important, but also essential is increasing connectivity for women so that they can experience the economic benefits and growth that can make measureable differences in their lives and for all of us.”
H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman, Ooredoo Group, said: “Ooredoo companies have already taken the lead in providing award-winning services for women in markets ranging from Iraq to Indonesia. By deploying the findings of the Connected Women Programme, we will be able to further refine and develop these initiatives in support of expanding the female digital economy in all our markets.”
“We are undertaking specific commitments in our newest market of Myanmar to connect millions of women who have never had access to the Internet before with the incredible life-changing opportunities of online services. This initiative will not only change the lives of our customers, it will also deliver significant change in the communities where they live,” he added.
“The ubiquity and affordability of mobile presents us with the unprecedented opportunity to improve and enhance social and economic development”, said Anne Bouverot, Director General, GSMA. “However, women in particular tend to be left behind, not only as consumers of mobile services, but also as employees and leaders in the mobile industry. To address this, the GSMA has partnered with key industry stakeholders with the vision of accelerating the potential of the female digital economy.”
The research project will aim to increase understanding of the current mobile phone gender gap, the drivers for and barriers to mobile phone access and usage, and implications for industry policymakers and other stakeholders. The study will be amongst the most comprehensive taken to date, including 12,000 interviews and 84 focus group sessions across China, Columbia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Niger, Nigeria and Turkey.
In partnership with A.T. Kearney, the GSMA will also undertake and publish a landmark piece of research examining the state of gender diversity across the industry, highlighting best practices and offering strategic advice on areas of potential change.
Upon completion of the research reports in early 2015, the GSMA Connected Women Programme partners, which currently include, Ooredoo, Qualcomm, Roshan and Smart Communications, commit to using the insights and recommendations generated, to create programmes and services for their female customers and employees.
As part of its commitment, Ooredoo has plans in place to launch products and services designed for women in Myanmar at the start of 2015, supported by a programme to raise awareness about the benefits of mobile technology. Most recently, Ooredoo has launched a maternal health application, “maymay”, which offers maternal health advice notifications, personalised health alerts and tips for expectant mothers, in a first-of-its-kind service for Myanmar.
In Indonesia, the new Wobe service will enable women to get online easily and at low cost, and will provide education and financial literacy through mobile content. It will also enable women to become distributors of mobile airtime credits to their family, friends and neighbours – creating new economic opportunities for women.
GSMA operator partners will use the findings to deliver the appropriate services including: enhanced access to the mobile Internet for women; recruitment of women to become distributors of mobile airtime credits within their communities, which will allow them to expand digital access while generating household income; provision of information and services that women need with regards to health, education and entrepreneurship skills; provision of mobile technology to women factory workers to enable access to health information; and launch services designed to protect women in vulnerable situations by enabling them to block unwanted callers, preventing harassment and verbal abuse.
About the Clinton Global Initiative
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,100 commitments, which are already improving the lives of more than 430 million people in over 180 countries.
CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative.
GSMA Connected Women Programme
The GSMA Connected Women Programme builds upon the achievements of both the mWomen Programme, which was launched by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in October 2010 to increase women’s access to and use of mobile phones and life-enhancing mobile services in developing markets, and GSMA Connected Women, launched in Brussels in 2012 to close the ICT skills gender gap, attract and retain female talent and encourage female leadership in technology on a global basis.
The Connected Women programme builds on the momentum of these two programmes through the delivery of research, technical assistance, meetings, advocacy case studies, best practices and toolkits to further address the digital skills and connectivity gender gaps to enable women to meet their full potential as consumers and employees. For more information visit: www.gsma.com/connectedwomen.
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo. For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.