Research highlights mobile communication services and offerings for women in emerging markets

4 April 2012 | In News | 220 views | By

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mulheres high techThe GSMA has released results of research on the opportunities that mobile communications offer the mal-atendidas women in this area in emerging markets. The search, with the title “Portraits: A Glimpse into the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid” (Portraits: A look at the lives of Women at the Base of the pyramid), is the first to examine the wishes, needs, aspirations and uses of mobile devices by women who live at the base of the pyramid (BoP — base of the pyramid), those living on less than US $ 2 per day. A pesquisa foi conduzida em parceria com a Agência Australiana para o Development Internacional (AusAID — Australian Agency for International Development) e com a Agência dos Estados Unidos para o Development Internacional (USAID – United States Agency for International Development), with the basic research conducted by TNS. Searching gives life to women's voices at the base of the pyramid, through eight “portraits” fictitious and compounds of interviewees, shown against a backdrop of continuing data, from which the pictures were developed.

“Our biggest goal is to make the lightweight search both public and private sectors to work in partnership with women at the bottom of the pyramid in the development of mobile communication services that truly meet your needs”, said the Director of the mWomen Programme (MWomen programme) the GSMA, Trina DasGupta. “We believe that any product or service of mobile communications, intended to serve women at the bottom of the pyramid, a commercially successful way, must meet the real needs experienced by women at the bottom of the pyramid, as manifested by them, in their own voices”, declared.

A pesquisa destaca as lacunas no acesso e no uso de technology de telefonia móvel. There is a significant potential for using it in favor of women's empowerment and we continue to work with the program mWomen the GSMA and with USAID to reduce this gender gap in the area of mobile telephony”, said the Director of AusAID's gender policy, Melissa Stutsel.

“A critical factor for eliminating the gender gap in mobile telephony is discover profitable business models — based in part on this new search — for mobile operators that can serve women who live on less than US $ 2 per day”, Senior Advisor said and CIO (chief innovation officer) from USAID, Maura O Neill ’. “The partnership with the GSMA and AusAID causes the program corresponds strongly to the hopes, dreams and needs of poor women around the world”.

THE mWomen Programme the GSMA commissioned research in several countries and the main fieldwork was conducted with more than 2.500 women at the base of the pyramid, in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea and Uganda, with minor contributions from other parts of the developing world.

The key findings highlighted in “Portraits” include:

The entire family as a target. Seventy-four per cent of married women, that they did not want a cell phone, They said the reason was that their husbands would not. Efforts to communicate the benefits of mobile telephony should focus on the benefits for the whole family;Eager entrepreneurs. Seventy-three percent of the participants showed interest in a joint venture, to help support her family, indicating that mobile communications solutions, to help manage business or establish companies retail street, could have a major impact;Gap in electricity services. Thirty-eight per cent of women at the base of the pyramid live unconnected with a power grid or without easy access to any source of electricity. Although access to electricity vary by market, workarounds, low-cost, to load mobile devices will be essential for many women at the base of the pyramid to realize fully the potential benefits of ownership of cell phones;Gap in the usefulness of SMS services. Seventy-seven per cent of women at the base of the pyramid have used cell phones, but only 37 percent has already sent an SMS, regardless of their level of literacy. The women said they did not see utility for SMS services, so that products intended for them must have a demonstrable practical value; andGap on mHealth. Eighty-four per cent of women would like to have better information about health care; However, only 39 percent stated a specific interest to receive general information about health treatment through their mobile phones; Therefore, health services offerings for mobile telephony must be rigorously addressed the needs of women and communicated with clarity, for services to be fully utilized.

“Portraits” is a high-level summary of key research findings. A more detailed report, with the title of “Striving and Surviving – Exploring the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid” (Fighting and surviving — Examining the lives of women at the Base of the pyramid”, will be released during celebrations of international women's day, in 8 March 2012, and will be available in site

Notes to editors

Background of the GSMA mWomen ProgrammeTHE mWomen Programme the GSMA is a global partnership, unprecedented, between public and private institutions, that involves, Around the world, the mobile communications sector and the international community development. The program aims to reduce the gender gap in the area of mobile telephony in 50%, until 2014, leading connectivity and mobile services to more than 150 millions of women in the emerging markets. This will be achieved through a combination of research, grants for mobile communications operators and NGOs, kits and dissemination of knowledge, through the community online mWomen, seminars and mWomen Working Group (Working Group mWomen), that includes more than 30 members of the mobile communications industry.

Released by US Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, in October 2010, the mWomen Programme is funded by AusAID, USAID, GSMA and Visa Inc. and is supported by a worldwide network of sponsors, as the founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women (Cherie Blair Foundation for Women), Cherie Blair; the administrator of the United Nations development programme, Helen Clark; the President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf; the first lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, His Excellency, Sia Nyama Koroma Lady; the Prime Minister of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the Hon. Kamla Persad-Bissessar; the President of the Rockefeller Foundation, Dra. Judith Rodin; and the first lady of South Africa, Madam Tobeka Madiba Zuma. For more information, Please, visit the site


The GSMA represents the interests of operators of mobile communications around the world. With presence in more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 mobile communication operators in the world and more than 200 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including mobile phones manufacturers, companies of software, suppliers of equipment, provedoras de Internet e organizações das áreas de mídia e entertainment. A GSMA também produz other eventos importantes do setor, such as the Mobile World Congress and the Mobile Asia Expo.

For more information, Please, visit the website GSMA corporate ( or the Mobile World Live, the portal online for the mobile communications industry (

For more information about USAID, visit:

For more information about AusAID, visit:

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