The Qtel Group is pleased to announce its support to the GSMA mWomen Program which is a global program designed to empower women through the increased use of mobile phones. The Qtel Group has played a pioneering role in this area across its multiple markets, and its support for this initiative is part of its wider integrated strategy.
The program represents an unprecedented public-private partnership between the global mobile industry and the international development community, and was formally launched by Rob Conway, CEO of the GSMA, with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, October 2010.
As part of its enrolment in the GSMA mWomen Program, the Qtel Group has committed to drive change in its business with respect to how women’s issues are identified and served. The goal of the Group’s participation in the program is to accelerate opportunities for women through the mobile channel and the company will carry out original research in the Middle East and Asia to support these objectives.
Dr. Nasser Marafih, Group CEO, Qtel, said: “The Qtel Group is committed to making a valuable and measurable difference within the communities in the different markets where the Group operates. The mWomen program led by the GSMA furthers that objective, and the Qtel Group will ensure that the needs and aspirations of women in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia are fully-represented in this initiative.”
As part of its commitment to supporting the GSMA mWomen Program, the Qtel Group is also being represented in the ‘mWomen Working Group’, established to unite operator members committed to closing the mobile phone gender gap in the developing world. The Working Group consists of 22 members representing mobile operators in over 115 developing countries.
Trina DasGupta, mWomen program director, GSMA said: “We are the happy the Qtel Group has joined the mWomen Working Group and made a commitment to working to close the mobile phone gender gap. In the Middle East, a woman is 24% less likely than a man to have access to mobile phones and Qtel´s participation will help address this important issue.”
The Qtel Group is already playing an active role in supporting women’s development and entrepreneurialism. For example, Indosat in Indonesia supports a special System Electronic Voucher (SEV) Retailing programme for women in rural areas – an initiative that was acknowledged and presented at the Global Compact Asia Network Conference in Bali and the Global Leader Summit in New York.