Gender and Development

AudienceScapes Original Research

AudienceScapes research has focussed on understanding how certain socio-economic gaps prevent women from having the same level of access to communication and information as men.

Mobile Futures: Global Gender Divide

Unprecedented  growth  in  mobile  phone  access  in  emerging  economies  is  the  success   story  of  this  decade  -­‐-­‐  but  what  about  disadvantaged  citizens  in  these  countries  who   continue  to  confront  a  digital  divide?  In  many  cases,  they  also  represent  the  largest   potential  market  for  mobile  operators.  Gayatri  Murthy  digs  into  the  data  so  that   development  practitioners  and  mobile  operators  can  understand  the  disparities  and   opportunities  in  these  countries.

More Gender Divide Analyses from AudienceScapes:

*In Pakistan Social and Institutional Inhibitors Lead to ICT Gender Divide

*The Gender Gap in Ghanaian Communication     
*Facing the Gender Gap for Information Sources in Kenya
*Reaching Out to Women Through Radio in Chad     

*Targeting Women With HIV AIDS Messages: Radio Coupled with Community Engagement Might Be the Way To Go


From the Field: Latest News and Development Projects

AudienceScapes Fellows Paromita Pain and Dinfin Mulupi have consistently reported on women and ICT issues throughout the year. In general, our fellows are reporting about projects that fall into one of two categories: projects that use ICT to educate women and deliver health services and those that use ICT for women-led citizen journalism.


Mobile Chat Service for HIV/AIDS in South Africa
Anyone worried about HIV or AIDS in South Africa can now chat directly with a trained counselor using a mobile phone. The service not only uses a form of communication already popular with young people, it is affordable and very private.
By Paromita Pain

Boosting India’s Community Health Workers
Women and children in rural India find it difficult to access health services. Health workers who serve these populations are often poorly trained and have limited literacy. With mobile phones able to display audio and video health information in multiple languages, these workers are in a better position to educate the public about major health issues like prenatal care.
By Paromita Pain

New Tools for Family Planning in Kenya
A pilot project in Nairobi focuses on increasing awareness about family planning options. Using their mobile phone, Kenyans can now get information about contraception and other reproductive issues.
By Dinfin Mulupi

Bridging Kenya’s Digital Gender Divide
A focus on training girls and women in how to use information and communication technology is breaking the bonds of sexism in Kenya. ICT skills give women more economic power as they can enter new industries or be more efficient entrepreneurs.
By Dinfin Mulupi


Radio that Resonates in Senegal
Senegal is experimenting with radio as a means to educate female listeners about family planning and other public health issues. Two radio programs are being broadcast with careful attention to covering stories that affect people’s everyday lives.  Underlying all of the stories are the critical aspects of gender equity that influence behaviors related to family planning, maternal and child health, and prevention of HIV.  
By Paromita Pain

Newspaper For Women, By Women in India
The women-run newspaper, Khabar Lahariya, publishes articles on subjects of significance for women, like domestic abuse and health issues. These wouldn’t be reported on otherwise. It’s given marginalized women an opportunity to produce media that highlights problems often overlooked by mainstream media outlets.
By Paromita Pain

Community Radio Informs and Inspires
Community radio programs in India are giving marginalized groups like women a voice.
To be a woman and Dalit (“untouchable”) are considered dual hardships in rural India. Through Sangham Radio, some Dalit women from the Medak district in Andhra Pradesh decided to speak up about their suffering.
By Paromita Pain

Young Indian Women Ride WAVE to Free Expression

Mumbai-based activists Angana Jhaveri and Sapna Shahani wanted to use media to help empower young Indian women. The result was Women Aloud: Video blogging for Empowerment (WAVE), a nationwide project that offers a “digital platform for young Indian women to voice their perspectives on issues that matter through video blogs.” They aim to share compelling videos that start conversations and build bridges to enable the exchange of novel solutions.
By Paromita Pain

Case Studies: Women and Development Messages

Here we show how the AudienceScapes data on demographic and behavioral characteristics of women in Africa can provide helpful guidance to development groups to formulate communication strtaegies and information dissemination programs.

Young Zambian Women's Access to Information about Maternal & Child Health

Engaging and informing young women about maternal and child health (MCH) is crucial to achieving the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals by the 2015 target date. But what are the best conduits to use for reaching this important and vulnerable target population? Here we mine the survey data to produce four key lessons on how development practitioners can best interact with young women in Zambia.

Also see Accessing Information About HIV/AIDS in Zambia With A Focus On Young Women

Communicating Health Information About Malaria in Zambia, exploring the gender gap

Case Study: Targeting Malaria Prevention Education to Rural Women Under 30 In Kenya

Consider a public health initiative to provide young rural women with information about protecting themselves and their children from malaria. The data from the AudienceScapes 2009 Survey in Kenya can help to define the demographic characteristics of this target group (defined here as women between the ages of 15 to 29 living in rural areas, a group of 273 respondents in the survey).

 Ghana: Targeting Young Women in Rural Ghana with Messages About Diarrhea

Children are most at risk for diarrhea, thus targeting women in Ghana under 30 (mothers or potential mothers) and getting information to them is key. To do so, it helps to  understand this target group- their economic status, employment, education, and they  get information. Our research can identify how to share health messages with this group.  

See Case Study

Ghana Case Study: Maternal and Infant Health Programs for Young Rural Women

Young rural females are a priority target population for public health interventions, given that these women typically are (or soon will be) mothers of young children. Here we show how the AudienceScapes data on demographic and behavioral characteristics of young rural women in Ghana can provide helpful guidance to development groups (the analysis in this section is based on 307 survey respondents in the “young rural women” category).

*Research Brief: Are New Media in Africa Bridging the Gender Divide?

Survey data has shown that there continues to be an information gap between men and women in many African countries. Our recent surveys in Kenya and Ghana will help to answer whether "New Media" communication technologies can help shrink this gap.


Gender Divide: Understanding How Media/Communication Access Differs

AudienceScapes research has focussed on understanding how certain socio-economic gaps prevent women from having the same level of access to communication and information as men. See our gender divide analyses for the following countries:
*Women in Sierra Leone Face Arduous Structural, Educational and Linguistic Barriers
*Ugandan Women Behind in Terms of New ICT Use    
Gender Does Not Seem to Be A Limiting Factor in Liberia

Field Blogs

The Role of Gender in Media Consumption and Access to Health Services

A-Scapes Research Analyst Hannah Bowen recently delivered a presentation at the Population Reference Bureau highlighting research findings from our Kenya and Ghana quantitative reports regarding the role of gender in media consumption and access to health services