What is being done to connect the 1.7B women around the world without a mobile phone?

Around the world more than 3 billion people in low- and middle-income countries do not own mobile phones, and 1.7 billion of them are estimated to be women, according to the GSMA's 2015 report on Connected Women. Women on average are 14 percent less likely to own a mobile phone than men, which translates into 200 million fewer women than men owning mobile phones, the GSMA added. However, the overall figure also masks greater inequalities at regional and country levels. 

Mobile phones and access to mobile services and content provide significant social and economic benefits for the women themselves, as well as their families and local communities. Further, the GSMA claims that ensuring women in low- and middle-income countries own and use mobile phones on a par with men could unlock an estimated $170 billion market opportunity for the wireless industry in the next five years. Yet women in many regions are still being left behind due to a variety of reasons ranging from affordability to cultural barriers, and indicates that much more needs to be done. For more on what is being done to close the mobile gender gap, check out this FierceWireless:Europe special report