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mHealth Alliance Releases Framework for Addressing Women's Empowerment in Mobile Health Projects
Date:5/6/2013

Washington, DC (PRWEB) May 06, 2013

Recognizing the significant impact of gender inequity on women's health in low- and middle-income countries, the mHealth Alliance today released a Gender Analytical Framework to help mHealth implementers better understand the implications of gender issues for mobile health (mHealth).

"As with all health interventions, mHealth programs designed with consideration of users’ lives and the contexts in which they live will have a much greater chance of achieving significant impact," said Patricia Mechael, Executive Director of the mHealth Alliance and co-author of the framework. "mHealth projects – particularly in the case of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health – must take into account social, cultural and gender norms in order to achieve successful implementations and improve the health and wellbeing of women and families."

Research shows that many women's health problems in low-income countries, such as maternal mortality and unintended pregnancies, are directly linked to gender inequity. Furthermore, while the digital divide continues to shrink, women in low-income countries do not have equal participation in this technological advancement. A woman living in a low-income country is 21% less likely to own a cell phone than a man. While women are commonly the beneficiaries of mHealth projects, they are rarely equal participants in the development of these interventions.

The framework builds on the mHealth Alliance’s vision of gender as key to accelerating progress toward goals related to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health (RMNCH). It offers mHealth implementers an outline through which to understand the nuances of gender issues, as well as gaps related to gender.

VillageReach, an mHealth Alliance grant recipient, works to improve access to quality healthcare for underserved communities around the world. Insigh
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