10 Jul 2013

Addressing Gender and Women’s Empowerment in mHealth for MNCH

mHealth Alliance Francis Gonzales and Madhu Deshmukh
mHealth Alliance
Francis Gonzales and Madhu Deshmukh
7 mins
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Who it's for
Mobile devices help empower access to health services
  • An analytical framework for researchers and program implementers
What you'll learn
Gender gaps in the digital world restricts MNCH

Health information provided through mobile devices helps empower people and enables them to make better decisions about their health. However, there is an evident gender gap in the digital world that restrict the potential to assist women in receiving quality health services. mHealth interventions for maternal, newborn, children health (MNCH) should focus on addressing issues such as gender-based violence, the role of men and gatekeepers, and social and cultural norms through a gender lens.

Applying an analytical framework

mHealth has the potential to improve MNCH service access and outcomes, but digital gender gaps must be taken into consideration. The following analytical framework depicts four key areas in which gender gaps could arise, preventing women to access mHealth interventions related to MNCH. This analytical framework can be used to understand aspects of mHealth in which a gender lens is imperative. By applying this framework, gender- transformative programs can be designed, ultimately improving the availability and quality of MNCH services.

A woman walking in red dress in Orachha, India

Women and children should not only be beneficiaries of mHealth projects but should be equal participants in the development and implementation of mHealth interventions.

Key Takeaways
Use gender analysis to better understand data
Use gender analysis to better understand data

A gender gap analysis must be conducted in mHealth interventions. Further evidence around mobile devices relationship with women empowerment and contribution to the desired MNCH outcomes must be collected.

Include gender-transformative approaches
Include gender-transformative approaches

Implement gender-transformative approaches when designing mHealth interventions and evaluate the impact of gender gaps.

Identify measuring indicators
Identify measuring indicators

Indicators measuring women’s empowerment and gender issues in mHealth interventions should be developed in order for mHealth interventions to address gender gaps in MNCH services.

Three women sit at their market stall in Bolivia.

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