Bridging the Mobile Gender Gap for Refugees
Mobile phones have become an increasingly powerful tool with which to deliver life-enhancing information, services, and opportunities to millions who have not been able to access them before. This case study analyses data from two refugee contexts in East Africa to understand the degree to which women are excluded from accessing mobile services and the potential benefits available to women were the mobile gender gap closed. This case study outlines the mobile gender gaps in both refugee contexts, studying each in terms of gendered differences in use of mobiles, drivers and barriers. The researchers found that women were less likely than men to use a mobile phone and disproportionately relied on borrowing mobile phones from other people which then inhibited how women used phones. In addition, women do not gain all the benefits from mobile phone use because they use mobile phones in less diverse ways than men, mostly for calling family and friends and less for SMS, mobile money, the internet, updates on health or news or for entertainment. Some of these challenges arose from more limited literacy and others were associated with cost and access.