Women in rural Bangladesh: empowered by access to mobile phones

ISLAM, M. Kamrul and SLACK, Frances (2016). Women in rural Bangladesh: empowered by access to mobile phones. In: BERTOT, John, ESTEVEZ, Elsa and MELLOULI, Sehl, (eds.) ICEGOV '15-16 9th International Conference on Theory and Practice of Electronic Governance, Hammamet, Tunisia — March 01 - 03, 2016. ACM International Conference Proceeding Series, 10th . New York, ACM, 75-84.

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Link to published version:: 10.1145/2910019.2910074


Mobile phones are seen as a means for social and economic progress in rural and remote areas of developing countries. In Bangladesh the availability and use of information and communication technology (ICT), particularly mobile phones, is thought to have accelerated the development of women in the rural population by creating the possibility of a wider connection. Using qualitative and quantitative methods for data collection, this research has investigated the impact of mobile phone use by women with particular emphasis on opportunities in health, education and livelihood. A sample of 99 women from three rural villages in Bangladesh showed that mobile phones provide easy access to health related services. Although impact on facilitating girls’ education appears to be limited, mobile phones have an indirect effect in ensuring security for girls. Respondents confirmed that their overall living standards have improved due to access to information on economic and income earning opportunities. These rural women also feel independent and empowered by access to a mobile phone. It can be argued that mobile phone technology can facilitate improvements in the living standards of rural women, which contribute to their personal development. Finally, the paper suggests that wide and innovative utilization of ICT is needed to accelerate development of women in the rural population with the help of low-cost mobile phone technology.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Cultural Communication and Computing Research Institute > Communication and Computing Research Centre
Identification Number: 10.1145/2910019.2910074
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Frances Slack
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2016 11:48
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2016 23:31
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/11802

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