Worldreader is creating a world where everyone can be a reader, as they believe readers are builders.
Worldreader is leveraging mobile phones, a powerful and ubiquitous technology, to get books into the hands of everyone who wields one.
A critical look at data available regarding mobile phone usage and ownership in the world has shown some inequality, a gender gap, more men continue to have a mobile phone than women.
According to a 2020 report by Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA). Despite the growing importance of connectivity, the mobile gender gap remains large in 2020. Across Low Middle-Income Countries, women are eight percent less likely than men to own a mobile phone.
Being able to use the phone is as important as having the device. One way mobile phones are being used is by accessing the internet. The introduction of smartphones has made it easier for everyone to have the world in their hands.
Looking at this through the gender lens, one can see a slight reduction from the 10 percent gender
gap in previous years; it is proving a difficult gap to close because women are still 20 percent less likely than men to use the internet on a mobile phone.
A study of 15 LMICs (Algeria, Nigeria, Mozambique, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Brazil, Guatemala, Mexico) shows that over 78 million more women have come online in South Asia in the last three years, while in other regions, most notably Sub-Saharan Africa, considerably less progress has been made.
The GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey provided 4 top barriers that are preventing more women from using mobile phones and the internet. Out of these 4 top barriers, literacy skills and relevance stood out for an organization like Worldreader that works to promote literacy around the world through using mobile solutions.
Low literacy levels are a key factor in several markets. For example, in Nigeria, 27 percent of women and 22 percent of men who are aware of, but do not use, the internet cite it as the most important barrier. Lack of knowledge about how to access the internet and lack of time to learn, both emerged as key barriers in several
The barrier that has shown the most change year-on-year is the relevance barrier. Those who didn’t use the internet or the phone attributed it to insufficient content available in local languages.
The decline in relevance as a barrier reflects growth in users using apps such as the Worldreader app and BookSmart App. For example, on the Worldreader app, there is a collection of stories by young women which are centered around young women titled “Inspire Us”.
The stories cater to the needs of young readers. Although most of the writers of the stories are girls, for a female audience, young boys also do read. However, according to a Worldreader UNESCO report, women with mobile phones read books on their phones six times more than men with mobile phones.
If more women are given access to devices and access to the internet, they are likely to access educational and informative content to improve their lives and the lives of their families. On this day, as we celebrate the Girl Child, our call to action is to have other organizations and individuals be deliberate about the content they create online. We encourage more women to use the internet, access educational content to better their lives because the world is theirs.
Read the inspire us collection, click here