Mumbai, 7th February 2023: Reliance Jio and GSMA are proud to announce the national roll-out of their Digital Skills Program, a joint initiative under the broader GSMA Connected Women Commitment initiative. The program aims to provide need-based training to rural women and individuals from marginalized / low-income groups to help them make meaningful use of digital access.
As per the GSMA’s Mobile Gender Gap Report 2022, women in India are 41% less likely than men to use mobile internet. A total of 330 million women in India still do not use mobile internet, compared to 248 million men. Lack of literacy and digital skills is one of the top reported barriers to mobile internet use.
As a part of this program, the GSMA and Jio teams worked together to assess prevalent digital skill gaps and develop need-based digital skills training toolkits that are India-specific. The toolkits were designed post extensive field research and user feedback. Over 1,000 rural women and men from Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu participated and provided inputs for the refinement of the digital training toolkits during the trial phase.
The national roll-out phase is now underway, with the program being rolled out across 10 states with a focus on reaching women and marginalized groups. Reliance Foundation will be supporting the rollout through its large network and self-help groups, particularly in rural areas.
On this occasion, Ms. Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio, said, “Mobile technology has the power to empower women, making them feel more connected, independent, and secure, and providing them with access to important information that helps them in their daily lives. We are proud to partner with GSMA in this program to take digital skills training to the women across India and be the wind beneath their wings.”
Commenting on the program, Mr. Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA, said, “Mobile technology has the potential to positively contribute to protecting women’s human rights and to strengthen their economic, social, and political empowerment and development. But more needs to be done to ensure women are not being left behind in an increasingly connected world. We are excited to partner with Jio and Reliance Foundation to take the Digital Skills Program national and help accelerate digital inclusion for women.”
Over the next few months, both Reliance Jio and Reliance Foundation will be focusing on scaling up the program.
About Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited:
Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, a subsidiary of Jio Platforms Limited, has built a world-class all-IP data-strong future-proof network with 4G LTE technology. The network is 5G ready with no legacy infrastructure and an indigenous 5G stack. It is the only network conceived as a Mobile Video Network from the ground up. It is future-ready and can be easily upgraded to support even more data, as technologies advance to 6G and beyond.
Jio has brought transformational changes in the Indian digital services space to enable the vision of Digital India for 1.3 billion Indians and propel India into global leadership in the digital economy. It has created an eco-system comprising of network, devices, applications and content, service experience, and affordable tariffs for everyone to live the Jio Digital Life.
The GSMA is a global organization unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change. Our vision is to unlock the full power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive. Representing mobile operators and organizations across the mobile ecosystem and adjacent industries, the GSMA delivers for its members across three broad pillars: Connectivity for Good, Industry Services and Solutions, and Outreach. This activity includes advancing policy, tackling today’s biggest societal challenges, underpinning the technology and interoperability that make mobile work, and providing the world’s largest platform to convene the mobile ecosystem at the MWC and M360 series of events.
About GSMA Connected Women:
The GSMA’s Connected Women programme works with mobile operators and their partners to address the barriers to women accessing and using mobile internet and mobile money services. Connected Women aims to reduce the gender gap in mobile internet and mobile money services and unlock significant commercial opportunities for the mobile industry and socio-economic benefits for women. The Connected Women programme is currently funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), and is supported by the GSMA and its members. The digital skills training toolkits have been funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect the UK, Swedish or Norwegian governments’ official policies.
For more information, please visit www.gsma.com/connectedwomen