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24 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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global mobile industry

Women empowerment likely to open up $170b market: GSMA

TAREQUE MORETAZA
Women empowerment likely to open up $170b market: GSMA

There is a USD 170-billion market opportunity waiting to be tapped in the mobile phone industry by 2020 through connecting women, says GSMA , an association represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide.

Connecting women to the information technology highway through women’s empowerment will benefit the whole world, it states.

Groupe Speciale Mobile Association (GSMA) has introduced a programme titled ‘Connected Women’ for women being left behind in the ICT sector and financial inclusion.

Like other countries, the Bangladesh government has also taken initiatives to connect women in the ICT sector, said posts, telecommunications and information technology minister Mustafa Jabbar. After realising the importance of women’s engagement in technology, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has directed the authorities to take the necessary steps in this regard, he added.

Sheikh Hasina has also ordered the enhancement of cyber security for women in order to ensure safety of women.

In July 2016, the ICT Division launched Digital Training Bus Project.

State minister for ICT, Zunaid Ahmed Palak, told The Independent that Digital Training Bus Project would be executed over three years.

Under this project, six buses, fully equipped with modern ICT training facilities, will be deployed to offer ICT training to those women who find it inconvenient to venture out of their homes/localities due to various social restrictions. These buses will be used to provide basic ICT training to 240,000 young and talented women across 64 districts of the country.

The project is expected to generate a massive interest among women (especially in rural areas) to pursue entrepreneurship through ICT.

GSMA says the narrowing of the gender gap in mobile internet and mobile money services in low- and middle-income countries would unlock significant commercial and socio-economic opportunities. In today’s increasingly connected world, women are being left behind. A significant gender gap in mobile phone ownership and use in these countries is hindering the growth of the mobile industry. Successfully targeting women not only advances women’s digital and financial inclusion, but unlocks significant growth potential for the mobile industry.

In fact, closing the gender gap in mobile phone ownership and use could unlock an estimated USD 170 billion market opportunity for the mobile industry from 2015 to 2020.

GSMA’s Connected Women works with mobile operators and their partners to address the barriers faced by women with regard to getting access to and use of mobile internet and mobile money services. Together, it expects to unlock this substantial market opportunity for the mobile industry, deliver significant socio-economic benefits and transform women’s lives.

Anne Bouverot, director general of GSMA, said mobile technology is a powerful tool. It transcends geographies, cultures and socio-economic status and offers wide-ranging benefits to women and society. Mobile phones help women feel safer and more connected, save time and enable access to key services like mobile money and health information, she added.

GSMA, in a report titled ‘Bridging the gender gap: Mobile access and usage in low and middle-income countries’, says that ensuring women's access to mobile phones would help them feel safer and more connected. It can also provide benefits in terms of education and employment opportunities.

Women in South Asia are 38 per cent less likely to own a phone than men, highlighting that the gender gap in mobile phone ownership is wider in certain parts of the world, according to the research report of GSMA.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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