Arifu Insights

Gender Dynamics of Using Mobile Technology

About Arifu Insights:

Arifu is a digital advisor whose training content can be accessed freely on SMS, WhatsApp, Telegram and Facebook Messenger. Arifu’s mission is to provide information and opportunities for all. Arifu Insights intends to inform our partners and the wider ecosystem of digital information providers about what we know to drive this mission together.

This edition of Arifu Insights highlights: 

The Gender Dynamics of Using Mobile Technology is an insight compilation from data in reports, case studies and insights from the Arifu Experts and other partners that looks into how mobile adoption still poses underlying, contextual variation of it’s use despite a large adoption.

This edition of Arifu Insights highlights that there still seems to be challenges for designing mobile technology for women and from the challenges proposes some solutions that the Arifu team will be implementing.

The Problem

Increased access to mobile phones generally and specifically for women often shrouds underlying contextual variations experienced by women in different contexts and circumstances.

While access increases, phone availability for utilization may still be considerably low, responsibilities at home may be too high, and the value-proposition of services designed for general household goals can miss the specific needs of women.

Some broad concepts emerged from our perusal of the literature and our own analytics.

  • 13% Gender gap in mobile ownership in Sub-Saharan Africa.
  • 37% Gender Gap in internet usage in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • High burden of household responsibilities
  • Information needs vary between men and women
Our Solution

We believe these findings offer Arifu and other service providers an opportunity to design products, features, and content in ways that fit within the differential needs and operating contexts between men and women.

  • Generate research to identify and apply gender-intelligent design to improve Arifu’s value for women by meeting specific information needs in ways that are most accessible and user friendly.
  • Identify self-organized women’s groups, the value chains they are involved with, and their information needs within these value chains to develop and deploy relevant content. This could be among female youth, farmers, MSMEs, health workers, or in any sector.
  • Forge research, thought leadership, and operational partnerships with women-focused organizations to collaboratively design products, outreach strategies, and enhance the understanding of the wider ecosystem on designing products for women.


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