Can u Talk? Cellphones and Girls in South Africa

Posted on July 6, 2009.

Guest posting

by Sally-Jean  Shackleton, Executive Director, Women’s Net

brochuregirl cellphone There has been phenomenal growth in the cellphone industry in Africa. It is clear this technology is essential in a continent with failing land line telephony infrastructure and development.

The opportunities for development that have resulted from this growth is clear. Cellphones are used to communicate HIV information, send market prices to rural small farmers and to collect data in rural health care.

Africa, like the rest of the world, is also marked with the consequences of gender inequality, where violence against women a commonplace. It is in this context that many mobile phone development projects are being implemented.

Women’sNet is a non-profit organisation in South Africa that uses information and communication technologies (ICTs) for women’s development. Women’sNet has also been thinking about, and using, mobile phones in our work.

We have worked with a Ugandan women’s organisation to share information via SMS about ending violence against women, and we have undertaken research in the area of cellphones for HIV/AIDS communication.

We recently asked a group of young South Africans from an informal settlement in Gauteng province about their use of cellphones. We were interested in the potential that cellphones offer for communicating social change messages, and also in the potential for creating positive social networks for young people.

Positive social networking spaces have been shown to decrease the risk of young people contracting HIV.

Gendered cellphone use

What we found was unsurprising. Young women use cellphones differently to young men, and virtual spaces reflect their real lives. In South Africa young women are six times more likely than young men to be HIV positive. Young women also face very high levels of violence, intimidation and sexual harassment at home and on the streets.

The young women we interviewed were secretive and hesitant when talking about their use of cellphones and cellphone services such as MXit. The girls talked about intimidation, sexism and ‘feeling uncomfortable’.The young men we spoke to were confident and outspoken. They spoke about dating ‘chicks’ and ‘beauties’.

What does this mean? As in real life, our projects using cellphones must be planned, implemented and evaluated from a gender perspective. Virtual spaces, like any other space, must challenge gender stereotypes, address violence and intimidation where it happens, and empower young men and women to challenge inequality.

Women’sNet, through it’s Girls’Net programme launched a new campaign called “Keep your Chats Exactly That!”. Our campaign aims to help parents, children and teachers to use cellphone technologies positively. We aim to ensure young people in South Africa are able to fully benefit from cellphone technologies and the development opportunities they offer.

Our campaign kicked off in Gauteng, with support from UNIFEM, and our plans are to expand it to other provinces. This campaign contributes to our work to ensure ICTs work for gender equality and aims to add to the collective knowledge about technologies as they are used by girls and women.

chatsgraphictop3
Contact Eva Ramokobala for more information or to participate in the campaign: eva@womensnet.org.za

32 Replies to "Can u Talk? Cellphones and Girls in South Africa"

gravatar

Patty Shaban  on May 12, 2016

I’ve read several good stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you put to make such a excellent informative website.

gravatar

how to build a chicken coop  on May 13, 2016

Would you be occupied with exchanging hyperlinks?

gravatar

judo club flyers  on May 14, 2016

My coder is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on numerous websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can import all my wordpress content into it? Any kind of help would be really appreciated!

gravatar

Health and Beauty  on May 15, 2016

I think other site proprietors should take this site as an model, very clean and excellent user friendly style and design, let alone the content. You’re an expert in this topic!

gravatar

Best Multivitamins for Women  on May 15, 2016

Magnificent web site. Lots of useful info here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your effort!

gravatar

Roxane Thormina  on May 15, 2016

I must show my appreciation for your kind-heartedness for all those that need assistance with this one matter. Your special dedication to passing the message along had been definitely informative and has all the time empowered professionals just like me to realize their desired goals. Your amazing warm and friendly key points implies a whole lot to me and extremely more to my office colleagues. Regards; from everyone of us.

gravatar

Brent Boruff  on May 15, 2016

Hey are using Wordpress for your blog platform? I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and set up my own. Do you require any html coding knowledge to make your own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

gravatar

Bryon Adriance  on May 15, 2016

naturally like your web site but you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the reality on the other hand I?¦ll definitely come again again.

gravatar

University of Petra  on May 15, 2016

I am not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent information I was looking for this info for my mission.

gravatar

cure for hepatitis  on May 16, 2016

Hmm it looks like your website ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I submitted and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as well am an aspiring blog blogger but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any recommendations for newbie blog writers? I’d definitely appreciate it.

gravatar

nadex review  on May 18, 2016

Thank you for sharing excellent informations. Your web site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this website. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just could not come across. What an ideal website.

gravatar

play subway surfers  on May 20, 2016

It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to brand new updates and will talk about this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

gravatar

cheap jordan shoes  on May 20, 2016

great post.Never knew this, appreciate it for letting me know.

gravatar

truc tiep bong da  on May 20, 2016

Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favourite reason seemed to be at the internet the simplest thing to take note of. I say to you, I certainly get irked at the same time as folks consider concerns that they plainly do not realize about. You managed to hit the nail upon the highest as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , other people could take a signal. Will probably be back to get more. Thanks

gravatar

data entry work from home  on May 21, 2016

Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Cheers

gravatar

hampton bay ceiling fan remote  on May 23, 2016

I like the helpful information you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I am quite certain I’ll learn plenty of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

gravatar

Deals on Club FLyers  on May 25, 2016

I got what you intend, regards for posting.Woh I am pleased to find this website through google.

gravatar

Deals on Club FLyer  on May 25, 2016

I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

gravatar

Club Flyers Deals  on May 25, 2016

I like this blog so much, saved to favorites.

gravatar

EDDM Printing  on May 25, 2016

Some genuinely marvellous work on behalf of the owner of this site, absolutely great subject matter.

gravatar

EDDM Prints  on May 25, 2016

naturally like your web site but you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling problems and I find it very troublesome to tell the truth nevertheless I’ll definitely come back again.

gravatar

EDDM Postcard Print  on May 25, 2016

F*ckin¦ awesome issues here. I¦m very glad to peer your post. Thanks a lot and i am looking ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a mail?

gravatar

key west trolley tour  on May 25, 2016

I love the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great blog posts.

gravatar

trolley tours key west  on May 26, 2016

I?¦ve read some excellent stuff here. Definitely worth bookmarking for revisiting. I surprise how a lot effort you put to make the sort of great informative website.

gravatar

trolley tour in key west  on May 26, 2016

I like this website very much, Its a rattling nice berth to read and receive information. “What is called genius is the abundance of life and health.” by Henry David Thoreau.

gravatar

club flyer  on May 26, 2016

Thankyou for this marvelous post, I am glad I detected this site on yahoo.

gravatar

55printing club flyers  on May 26, 2016

I haven’t checked in here for some time as I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my everyday bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

gravatar

compare car insurance  on May 26, 2016

Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your blog and in accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently quickly.

gravatar

https://www.rabbleboy.com/category/comics-graphic-novels  on May 26, 2016

My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

gravatar

wedge sneakers  on May 27, 2016

It’s hard to search out knowledgeable people on this subject, however you sound like you already know what you’re speaking about! Thanks

gravatar

ageless male reviews  on May 27, 2016

Great write-up, I’m regular visitor of one’s site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

gravatar

muscle rev xtreme reviews  on May 27, 2016

Nearly all of the things you claim is astonishingly accurate and that makes me wonder why I hadn’t looked at this with this light previously. Your piece truly did turn the light on for me as far as this particular subject matter goes. Nevertheless at this time there is actually just one point I am not really too comfy with so while I attempt to reconcile that with the core idea of your issue, allow me observe exactly what the rest of the subscribers have to point out.Very well done.

Leave a Comment