Can tech empower poor women and improve social inclusion?

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The answer should be a resounding yes!  There are now more mobile connected devices in the world than there are people.  More than 4.5 billion people now use the internet, and  social media users exceed  3.8 billion,  mobile connects  71% of the world population.  300 million new users came online  in 2020, the majority from emerging economies. This provides a unique opportunity to reach people who  have hitherto been on the fringes of the economic system. In particular, for illiterate people, many of whom are women, voice based input is a game changer. 

Technology is a tool and can be used with intentionality to empower poor women and improve social inclusion.  It can connect them to the economy, enable them to access social services, improve their businesses, and can enable women to recapture the digital space through leveraging digital influencers, faith-based groups, politicians and marketing strategies to run targeted advocacy and social media  campaigns that amplify the voice of women. The impact that can be gained through digital communities is only going to grow. Digital technology  can influence  the attitudes around women and girls, through CSOs  and other credible   female religious leaders, politicians, teachers and professors and leverage their  networks. 

Social media has also played a huge part in giving a voice to women in countries that traditionally don’t allow them opportunities to speak out. Women especially those that live in isolated rural areas can access social media to connect them to information and access the economic system. Voice activation for reach is key.  For those impacted by digital exclusion and poor literacy levels,  voice activation could have a profound impact. Technology  can be a powerful enabler to empower women and improve social inclusion and improve the lives of poor women across the world. 

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