The initiative stems from a survey carried out in 25 countries by the Vodafone Foundation and Girl Effect, the results of which show that boys worldwide are 1.5 times more likely to own a mobile phone compared to girls, and are 1.3 times more likely to have a smartphone.
One of the main factors for girls’ lack of access and limited use of mobile phones is mainly due to social prejudices that prevent them having the same freedoms as boys. More than two-thirds (67%) of boys interviewed reported owning a mobile phone (compared to 44% of girls) and 28% reported using a borrowed phone – compared to more than half (52%) of girls.
“Girls are falling behind. In many countries, access to mobile phones is fundamental to the health, learning and development of these young women. We have to face the fact that girls and boys do not have the same opportunities in terms of access to a mobile phone, and help to start to change this situation. We believe this survey will be very useful in informing and developing technological solutions that address the needs of these girls, thereby contributing to the United Nations Global Goals for Sustainable Development”, said Andrew Dunnett, Director of the Vodafone Foundation.
As part of this partnership, the Vodafone Portugal Foundation is inviting the Portuguese to support this initiative by handing in their obsolete mobile phones to a Vodafone store during the next year.
About Girl Effect
Girl Effect is a non-profit organisation that uses technology to help girls around the world improve their lives. Founded by the Nike Foundation in 2004, Girl Effect is present in 66 countries and has already had an effect on the lives of more than 48 million people. The organisation’s mission is to ensure that girls can express themselves and be valued without being disadvantaged by the stigmas of the societies in which they live.