Girl Effect, UNICEF and Vodafone Americas Foundation are launching a new global study into adolescent girls’ demand for, access to and use of mobile and digital technology. We are calling for additional partners and investment to further scale this research and explore how to build sustainable data platforms, to provide ongoing insights into the gender digital divide among youth. This announcement is part of a collective commitment to Generation Equality, made at the Generation Equality Forum in Paris.
The study, Girls & Mobile 2.0, will build on Girl Effect’s first-of-its-kind global study from 2018 into girls' access to and use of mobile. Launching in 2021, it will be conducted across low- and middle-income countries, combining quantitative and qualitative research methodologies. It aims to build a deeper understanding of the gender digital divide in a Covid-19 world, including the impact of the online world on girls' sense of self-esteem and mental wellbeing.
The study will help bridge the gender data gap by providing unique insights that can inform the design of impactful digital products, services and solutions for, with and by girls.
Jessica Posner Odede, CEO of Girl Effect, said: “The need for accurate data to understand girls' lives has never been more urgent than it is now. These insights must inform how we evolve digital solutions to meet girls’ changing needs. We need to understand the reality of girls now, so we are all primed and able to respond.”
Patty Alleman, Senior Advisor, UNICEF, said: “Girls and young women are blazing a trail in tech equity - for themselves and their generation - but we must collectively amplify and support their promising innovation pipeline including digital literacy content, platforms for mentoring and peer support, digital job sourcing, support to young women entrepreneurs and start-up founders, to truly live an inclusive digital and innovation revolution.”
June Sugiyama, Director of Vodafone Americas Foundation, said: “As a Foundation, we whole-heartedly believe that by investing in the combination of women and technology, we are investing in the ability to make a true global impact. Our partnership with Girl Effect builds on our work supporting previous studies, including girls and their readiness for leadership, among others - and will drive a deeper understanding around the gender digital divide, which crucial in order to drive real and impactful change."
As well as providing actionable recommendations when designing digital solutions with girls, the study also aims to produce post-pandemic baseline data on a girl’s digital world. The initial findings from the study are expected by mid-2022.