March 8th marked International Women’s Day, a day to reflect on the achievements of women and voice support for the continuing fight for gender equality. Given the relevance of this month, we would like to take this opportunity to highlight and reflect on a successful project run by one of our long-term partners, Human Network International (HNI). The project focused on sparking behavior change on issues of gender-based violence.
HNI was awarded a GSMA Connected Women Innovation Fund grant to provide the first ever on-demand mobile information hotline for women in Madagascar on the 3-2-1 Service. HNI conducted extensive consumer insights research, which confirmed that many women were not aware of their rights and gender-based violence was a major problem. In an effort to bridge this information gap, HNI developed new gender content on women’s rights regarding gender-based violence, finances and education on the 3-2-1 Service.
Six months after launch, 232,158 unique users had accessed the gender content, 50% of whom were women. Over half a million queries were received, making it the most popular content area on the 3-2-1 Service at the time.
A separate study by GSMA Mobile for Development Impact analysed the 3-2-1 transaction data and found that accessing the content on the 3-2-1 Service led to behavior change in both women and men:
Some women also reported being inspired to open up their own bank account and manage their finances as a result of listening to the gender content. Users, especially women, were not only able to recall the information communicated through the information service, but some also reported no longer being victims of physical and mental abuse by their husbands (also users of the Service) as a result of the 3-2-1 content.