Can Tech Empower Poor Women and Improve Social Inclusion?

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. UNESCO found that a voice based interface is an effective tool to reach low literate and low-skilled technology users. It allows an illiterate user to use a voice command to search the internet, a website, or an app, and voiced-based search has increased rapidly in developing countries and could be used to reach disadvantaged, marginalized and hard to reach parts of the population.

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