This study analyses data, surveys, a market sizing model, and expert interviews to report on mobile phone use among women in low- and middle-income countries. The study finds that women are 21% less likely to own a mobile phone than their male counterparts, a figure that rises slightly in the Middle East and Africa and rises to 37% in South Asia.
Case studies include a female literacy programme in Pakistan in which 6 messages a day were sent to girls via SMS text messaging in the local language on a variety of topics, including religion, health, and nutrition. Another case study is of the Roshan network in Afghanistan, which focused a marketing campaign, the Aali for Mother Campaign, that focused on women using culturally significant strategies, e.g. focusing on women as needing to connect with family members by phone and husbands as “gift bearers”, or those who might empower women’s phone use. The study focused on women “at the base of the pyramid” or low-income women and includes case studies that illustrates that combining mobile phones with traditional information channels boosts the effectiveness of both.