How Mobile Technology Can Help BoP Women Get Ahead
Thursday, March 8, 2012
“Portraits: A Glimpse into the Lives of Women at the Base of the Pyramid,” a report released at last week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, is the first to survey the wants, needs, aspirations and mobile uses of women living at the base of the pyramid (BoP), defined as those living on less than $2 a day, according to the GSM Association.
The research was conducted in partnership with the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), with primary research undertaken by TNS. The research brings the voices of BoP women to life through eight fictional, composite “portraits” of respondents, shown against a backdrop of the macro-level data from which the portraits were constructed.
The GSMA multi-country research and primary fieldwork was conducted with more than 2,500 BoP women in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea and Uganda, with secondary research contributions from other parts of the developing world.
“Our ultimate goal is that the research will lead to the private and public sectors working in partnership with BoP women on the development of mobile services that truly meet their needs,” says Trina DasGupta, GSMA mWomen program director. “We believe any mobile product or service aiming to serve BoP women in a commercially successful manner must meet the actual lived needs of BoP women, as expressed in their own voices.”
Adds Melissa Stutsel, director/Gender Policy at AusAID, “This research highlights the gaps in access to, and use of mobile phone technology. There is significant potential for using it to empower women, and we are continuing to work with the GSMA mWomen Program and USAID to reduce the mobile phone gender gap.”