How Cell Phones Are Empowering Women in the Developing World

By: Trina DasGupta, GSMA mWomen Program Director and Christopher Burns, Economic Growth and Agricultural Development Advisor, Office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment, United States Agency for International Development

As a mom, you’re likely to already understand the usefulness of a cell phone – from the convenience of your partner letting you know they’ll be late for dinner to the peace of mind that comes from ensuring your kids are safe and easy to find. Whereas the cell phone is one of several pieces of technology in our lives in the U.S., for many in the developing world, such as in Africa or South Asia, the cell phone is the first and only communication tool, as there are rarely computers or landlines.  And the nearest hospitals, schools or banks are often hours if not days away, making the cell phone the primary way people in the developing world can easily access critical services.

Saved just in time: one mother’s story of survival

By: Cynthia Breilh
National Director
World Vision/Women of Vision

Eight rusty beds were crammed in a tiny rural health center, each topped by an uncovered black vinyl mattress.  The beds were full -- each with at least two patients per bed –mostly children with malaria. This was the only hope of medical care for 26-year-old Victoria.  As she was rushed into the center in Northern Kenya, she was already in labor with her third child. The baby was coming two months early and with an unexpected audience -- a handful of mothers visiting from the United States. I was one of them.

A Birth Story in a Bangladesh Slum

In late 2011, Philadelphia-based freelance photographer Sarah Bones, part of the collective Photographers for Hope, went to Bangladesh to photograph the urban delivery centers or “birthing huts” opened by BRAC, a global development organization active in 10 countries, in the crowded slums of the country's capital, Dhaka. She witnessed, and captured on film, a dramatic scene as one 17-year-old Fazila, endured a difficult labor – first in the birthing hut, later on the floor of a stranger's hut.

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