A couple of weeks ago, AT&T had the privilege of hosting U.S. Ambassador Melanne Verveer, her staff and several other technology companies as part of the European American Business Council’s (EABC) Silicon Valley Forum. At the gathering, we discussed how technology, and specifically mobile services, could be used to empower women and girls worldwide.
A focal point of our discussions was a report issued last month by GSMA and the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women entitled ‘Women and Mobile: A Global Opportunity.’ The report “attempts to understand the nature of women mobile subscribers in low and middle-income countries such as Kenya and India, and highlights the barriers facing women’s adoption of mobile technologies. It also shows that, by extending the benefits of mobile phone ownership to more women, a host of social and economic goals can be advanced.”
Looking through the report, a few stats really jumped out at me. There are some 300 million fewer female subscribers than male subscribers worldwide; 85% of women report feeling more independent because of their mobile phone; and 41% of women report having increased income and professional opportunities once they own a phone.
And in one of those happy coincidences, earlier this week, the Obama Administration announced Global Pulse 2010, a three-day, online collaboration event, designed to foster dialogue with the international community. One of the 10 topics for discussion is the issue of empowering women and girls worldwide. Mark your calendars for March 29-31 so we all can engage with and learn from one another to empower wives, daughters and sisters of the worldwide community to reach their full potential.