Empowering girls through mobile

Empowering girls through mobile

Across the world, millions of girls lack the information, connections, tools and services they need through mobile. Many of the everyday issues that affect them – relationships, contraception and gender-based violence – are often too sensitive to talk about openly, if at all. Boys are also one and a half times more likely to own a mobile phone than girls.

Vodafone Foundation, which focuses on using connectivity to drive social change, launched a partnership this year with Girl Effect, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) with expertise in using media and mobile technology to empower girls to change their lives. The partnership aims to empower 7 million vulnerable girls across eight countries, connecting them to information, support and services they need, through mobile.

The partnership will increase the reach of mobile platforms such as Springster, a mobile platform designed for and created by girls. The content on Springster helps girls understand and navigate the key social issues they face in their local area, from health and education, to financial security and personal safety. Through informal learning and by connecting girls with a supportive group of peers, the Springster platform aims to break the cycle of poverty by giving girls the tools, knowledge, networks and confidence they need to reach their full potential.

Vodafone Foundation has contributed US$5 million to the project, which will be used to generate a total of US$25 million over five years. The partnership aims to reach girls across India, Tanzania, South Africa, Lesotho, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Mozambique.