Mobile Learning for Women

March 2015 | UNESCO Bangkok Office


Dear readers,

In line with the International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, this month’s e-newsletter will focus on women and mobile learning. As mobile technologies have become more accessible and affordable, mobile learning has called an increasing attention among international development communities as a tool to ensure equality and quality of education for women. It is timely that with the International Women’s Day we look back at the progress achieved so far, and look forward to ways in which we can promote women’s empowerment through mobile learning. Although much progress is evident, we are still a long way from achieving gender equality worldwide. It is thus even more imperative to emphasize the urgent need to educate women in order to ensure their invaluable input and participation in the post-2015 world for peaceful and sustainable societies. This issue intends to provide deeper information on the status of women, educational progress, success and challenges, as well as interesting projects that help educate and empower women.

We hope that you enjoy reading this edition!

Please let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.


 Mobile Learning for Women (by UNESCO Bangkok, ICT in Education)
This article provides the basic information on the women’s status around the world, what the UN and other organizations have done in order to achieve gender equality as well as improved women’s education with the help of mobile technology.

 Mobile Technology for Girls’ Education and STEM (by Mark West, ICT in Education, UNESCO Paris)
Written by the Associate Project Officer at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, Mark West is the author of Reading in the Mobile Era and the co-author of the UNESCO Policy Guidelines for Mobile Learning.  He has been involved in a number of field projects that use mobile technology in concert with other tools and approaches to improve learning outcomes. 


Sub-regional Corner: Central Asia

 A Review of Education and ICT Indicators in Central Asia (by UNESCO Bangkok)
This article provides an overview of Central Asia’s demographics, education challenges and improvements, as well as key ICT indicators.

Programmes and Projects:

This issue introduces the readers to various projects by IGOs, NGOs and private sector where mobile technologies are used to empower girls and women. For the full information on each project, please visit the corresponding websites.

  Mobile Phone Literacy – Empowering Women and Girls
As illiteracy has become synonymous with women, the Mobile Phone Literacy project was established in order to address this persistent challenge. It hopes to utilize mobile phones in order to maintain and develop literacy skills, provide access to information, and reach the marginalized girls and women. 

 The English and Information Technology for Adolescents (EITA) project   
This article provides an overview of the project focused on English and IT skills development for rural adolescent girls in Bangladesh, its purpose, success, and challenges.   

 Business Women: A Mobile Value-Added Service for Women Entrepreneurs
This article provides information on the “Business Women” mobile application that has provided business training to over 100,000 women in Nigeria, Tanzania, and Indonesia. The application was a part of a larger project focused on mobile services for women entrepreneurs.  

This project aims to improve maternal health through Electronic Health Record by using an SMS system as an information resource to expectant mothers during their pregnancy.

 Kutch Mahila Vikas Sangathan
This Indian NGO has several projects specifically focused on empowering women. For example, their Empowering Panchayati Women-Sushasini project supports women elected representatives to develop their rightful place as the leaders of their communities and marginalized groups, as well as promote transparency and accountability in the village. This NGO also utilizes mobile technology in rural areas in order to increase women’s IT literacy skills.

News and Events:

 Nomination call for UNESCO-Hamdan Prize 2015-2016
The fourth edition of the UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers has opened the call for nominations. The prize is awarded every two years and it recognizes initiatives that contribute to improving educational practices around the world, with priority given to developing countries and to marginalized and disadvantaged communities. Deadline for nomination: October 31, 2015. To submit a nomination, please download the guide and the application and nomination forms. For more information, please click here.

 Gender Summit 6 Asia Pacific 2015 (27-28 August, 2015. Seoul South Korea)
This event’s theme is “Better Science & Technology for Creative Economy: Enhancing the Societal Impact through Gendered Innovations in Research, Development and Business”, introducing the research evidence that pertains to the benefits of addressing gender issues in science and technology.  

 eLearning Africa: 10th International Conference on ICT for Development, Education & Training
This networking event for ICT-enhanced education and training in Africa is one of the largest conferences in the field, useful for those who wish to develop partnerships, as well as be updated and informed on eLearning themes. 


 The GSMA mWomen Deployment Tracker
This is an interactive mapping of existing mobile products and other resources that promote women’s access and use of mobile technologies in developing countries.  

 Oh My Body
A mobile application that provides youth with information about Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.

 A Networked Community for Women’s Leadership in Education Technology
A community that consists of business experts, educators, technologists and others with the aim of supporting women’s leadership skills and opportunities in education technology.

 mEducation Alliance
The Alliance committed to improving access to mobile technologies for education, especially in developing country contexts. Their website provides updates on events and resources related to m-learning.

This online platform provides an opportunity for women entrepreneurs to share their success stories, as well as their motivation, knowledge and skills.

 The Social Entrepreneurs Toolkit
The Social Entrepreneurs Toolkit is designed for the point when an entrepreneur feels the pressure shifts, the team starts to grow, momentum takes hold and process becomes an eventuality that feels like it threatens purpose, and ultimately the entrepreneur begins the transition from start up to scale up, and they have to balance management and leadership and working 'on' the business with the ongoing need to be 'in' the business.
A 3-hour workshop to help participants apply the ‘tools’ in their social enterprise comprise the following six activities: 1. Building Superteams 2. Finding Focus 3. Purpose vs Profit 4.      Making Friends with Finance 5. Professional Resilience 6. Reverse Engineering Success.
The developer of this toolkit, Mr. Sam Conniff, Chairman of Livity, is happy to share the toolkit with all social entrepreneurs with no financial implications. He hopes to refine it based on feedback from users, with the eventuality of developing it into an app, book or other shareable format to benefit a wider audience. For further information, contact Mr. Conniff directly at

 Gender Inequality Index
This GII exposes the human development costs of gender inequality, and provides country information on gender disparities. 

 UNESCO Clearinghouse on Global Citizenship Education hosted by APCEIU
The brand new Clearinghouse is a useful platform that is constantly updated with the resources from all parts of the world to raise awareness and facilitate information sharing on Global Citizenship Education. 

New Publications:

 Fostering Digital Citizenship Through Safe and Responsible Use of ICT: A Review of Current Status in Asia and the Pacific as of December 2014
This brand new publication by UNESCO Bangkok is part of the “Fostering Digital Citizenship through Safe and Responsible Use of ICT” project in partnership with Intel. It explores the various interventions that address issues concerning cybersafety, rights, and wellness.

 Mobile Technologies and Empowerment: Enhancing Human Development Through Participation and Innovation
This publication explores current trends in mobile technologies, its impact in developing countries, the relationship with democratic governance and human development, while identifying important challenges and opportunities in using mobile technologies for development.  

 mHealth for Development: the Opportunity of Mobile Technology for Healthcare in the Developing World
This publication focuses on the provision of health services via mobiles technologies in remote, and resource-poor environments.

 Connectivity: How Mobile Phones, Computers and the Internet Can Catalyse Women’s Entrepreneurship. India: A Case Study.
This research focused on India to have a closer look at how ICTs are changing economic opportunities for poor women. With useful insights, the publication also provides recommendations for the private sector, government and nongovernment groups to encourage and support women in business through the use of ICT.

 The Resilience of Women in Higher Education in Afghanistan
Due to the many challenges women face in accessing higher education in Afghanistan, this publication identifies these barriers, while underlining the many strengths and opportunities that can help young girls and women acquire a quality higher education degree.

 Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through Education
This Joint Programme seeks to connect education, health, gender equality and empowerment and enable fruitful environments for girls and women to ensure they are healthy and can make informed decisions about their health, education and employability to successfully participate in society.

 New Vision for Education: Unlocking the Potential of Technology 
This report provides an analysis of various research studies in order to better understand and define what we mean by "21st century skills". In a comparative manner, this study also shows that many countries are lagging behind in many of the 16 identified skills, and provides opportunities for technologies that are employed in contextualized ways. Additionally, it provides resources and tools in order to support instruction. 


Next Issue: The April issue will focus on the theme of New Learning Technologies. If our readers are interested in contributing to this edition, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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The opinions expressed in the documents included in this newsletter are those of the authors and editors and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of UNESCO, nor of any particular Division or Office. All rights to the resources included in this guide remain with their respective copyright owners, as indicated for each resource.