UNITED STATES. Women residing in the developing the countries of Sub Saharan Africa and Asia are less exposed to mobile phones, but access empowers women to become better decision-makers and improves health outcomes.
About the Study. A study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of the Sciences (PNAS) 16 June 2020 explains how increased access to mobile phones among women from socio-economically weaker communities in Sub Saharan Africa and Asia resulted in lower gender inequalities, enhanced contraceptive use, and lower maternal and child mortality rates over a period of two decades. The study was conducted and published by researchers from the University of Oxford, Bocconi University, and McGill University.
Results indicate that women who own mobile phones have increased involvement in decision-making processes about contraception, have higher overall decision-making power within the household, and a higher likelihood of knowing where to get tested for HIV compared to women who do not own a phone.
The evidence. The study, conducted over 25 years (from 1993 to 2017) covering 209 countries, combined publicly available macro-level data to build upon context-specific evidence about the positive role of mobile phones for women. Individual-level data was collected from 100,000 women from countries including Angola, Burundi, Ethiopia, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe to understand how mobile phone ownership can empower women.
To read more about the study you can visit the PNAS website or Download the study here.