According to a UNESCO study conducted in seven developing
countries (i.e- Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe),-"females read far more on mobile devices than males (almost six times as much according to the study); both men and women read more cumulatively when they start reading on a mobile device; and many neo- and semi-literate people use their mobile phones to search for text that is appropriate to their reading ability". However, there are few examples to demonstrate the use of such vibrant technology for live and livelihood security of women.
2# Changing social trend:-
The raising inflation and cost of living have of late forced the low and middle income families in India to widen the options of income for survival and sustenance. In the process a large number of young boys and girls are coming out in search of employment opportunities in India and abroad. Many of them are semi-educated, unskilled and unfamiliar with the employment demands and conditions in the market.This situation is specially makes young girls vulnerable to exploitation by various forces.
There have been reports of young women being trapped by human trafficking mafia in the name of employment in so called greener pastures in other cities and far away countries. While, most of these young women are duped mid-way and sent back, some of them are exploited physically, psychologically, sexually and economically.
3# Bridge information-knowledge gaps:-
The exploitation of young girls is perpetuated by a nexus of human trafficking mafia, illegal and unlicensed travel companies and corrupt elements in the immigration agencies in respective countries.The main disadvantage is the innocence, lack of awareness, information and knowledge-on "how to secure an employment in country or overseas".
Further, inadequate skills for young girls to compete dignified jobs in domestic market and lack of means to verify the truth about overseas employment, makes young girls vulnerable to exploitation.
In this backdrop, there is an urgent need to bridge this knowledge, information skill gaps so as to secure the livelihoods of young girls and also to ensure their life security. We have the opportunity of putting mobile technology in to service to aid aspiring young girls in their pursuit for livelihoods and most importantly, for dignified lives.
4# The process:-
4.1# Collection of data:-
Generating data of young girls with employment aspirations, collecting data on employment opportunities in target cities, network with licensed employment agencies in those cities, gathering data on employment skill requirements and process of application, information on living conditions and challenges in target places, information on security agencies and sources (such as-local police, community centers, respective embassies, women’s rights sectors, labor organizations).
4.2# Creating access to data:-
Making the above data accessible to young girls through mobile phones and smart phones through dedicated call centers and a web portal so they can access right information and verify the offers made by potential traffickers.This would require aligning with telecommunication experts, software application specialists, web-designers to designing an appropriate application.
4.3# Promoting social support systems:-
Apart from data gathering and data accessing this initiative would also require to work closely with the social development sectors and the organizations working closely with young women.Then bring this facility to these women with education and guidence, and help them to chose employment that is suitable to their skills.
Working with government authorities and mobile companies to ensure that the cost of "easy to navigate" mobile phones is reduced so young girls from low income families or non-profit making organizations (who all have been working with these ladies) are able to purchase a simple handset to them.
5# The idea:-
The idea will be implemented by mobilizing community organizations, generating and codifying appropriate information, networking with relevant government, non government and commercial organization, skill building and mentoring of young women, working with placement agencies to find safe and secure opportunities and establishing protocols to ensure work place safety of young women.
The initiative will be made successful by young, energetic, aspiring
and intelligent young women and their quest for right information, right source, right skills and right environment for safe and secure livelihoods.
Operationally, it can be made successful by collaborating with active women's groups, social development organizations, technological experts with social consciousness, telecommunication organizations with corporate social responsibility.