“Women represent an untapped business opportunity in mHealth, with direct and indirect commercial benefits for the mobile industry.”

This toolkit is a reference guide for mHealth services providers, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and other partners to help them improve their services by making them more gender inclusive, ensuring that they reach more female users. It offers practical, actionable steps that mHealth stakeholders can take, and uses real examples from other mHealth services that have been successful in reaching women. As explained by the author, “there is a large and growing gender gap in mobile usage as well as access. There are a number of different reasons for this mobile gap in women’s access to, and use, of mobile, which include affordability, social and cultural norms, fears around security and harassment, and lower levels of digital and technical literacy.” All these issues need to be taken into consideration when designing a gender inclusive service, and this toolkit is designed to assist with this, covering topics such as content, platforms, user testing, pricing and bundling, and marketing and promotion.

The toolkit includes the following sections:

  • Section 1: Why women? - explores the business and the social opportunity in serving women.
  • Section 2: Market assessment - helps service providers understand their (female) users.
  • Section 3: Product and service design - offers tips for designing an mHealth service with a gender lens.
  • Section 4: Pricing and bundling - offers key tips to ensure that prices are appropriate for women.
  • Section 5: Marketing and promotion - guidelines on how to make sure the service reaches women.
  • Section 6: Monitoring and improving your service - offers guidance on how to ensure that one is measuring women’s use and experience.
  • Section 7: Additional resources - provides useful reports and data sets.
  • Section 8: Gender checklist - to assess the gender friendliness of an mHealth service.

Click here to access the related webinar presented by Alexandra Tyers, gender and information and communication technology for development (ICT4D) specialist.

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