Number of years it took fertility in each country to fall from 6 children

Technology’s Quiet Revolution:
Driving Women’s Empowerment
Isobel Coleman
Senior Fellow, The Council on Foreign Relations
Technology Transforming Daily Lives
• Reducing maternal death and
family size
• Enabling girls’ education/income
• Creating greater connectivity with
society/increased social
awareness/civil society/activism
High Rates of Maternal Mortality in
Africa/South Asia
(World Health Organization 2012)
Maternal deaths per 100,000 Births:
1990 vs. 2010
(MDG Goals Report, 2013)
Rising Access to Contraception
(Shannon Jensen, AFP / Getty Images)
Falling Fertility Rates
Number of years it took fertility in each country to fall
from 6 children to less than 3
(World Bank, 2012)
Fertility Decline in Developing
• 32 developing countries with fertility levels below
replacement (by 2010)
– Vietnam and Thailand in Southeast Asia
– Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan,
Brunei, and Iran in MENA
– Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, Chile, Costa Rica,
Uruguay, and Suriname in Latin America
• 90% of 40 highest fertility countries in subSaharan Africa
Labor-Savings Critical for Women’s
Women Spend Upwards of 50% Waking
Hours Collecting Water/Firewood
Household Pollution a Health Disaster
(Athar Hussain, Reuters)
Clean Cook Stoves: Saving Time/
Improving Health
(University of Washington)
Women in Agriculture
Kickstart Water Pumps
(ICRW Invisible Market)
Solar-Powered Irrigation
Women adopting new seeds/techniques
necessary for next Green Revolution
(Mohanned Faisal, Reuters)
Mobile Phones Empowering Women
Gender Gap in Access is Closing
Women with cell
phones report
- more secure
- more independent
Women less likely to
own/access a cell
phone than men in
low and middleincome countries,
but gap is narrowing
Marketing Cellphones to Women
Mobile Tech and
Community Health in Ghana
(Grameen Foundation)
Internet Activism
Manal Al Sharif and
women2drive campaign
Esraa Abdel Fattah “Facebook Girl”
(Lucas Jackson, Reuters)
Media Messaging Women’s Rights
Issue-based Afghan drama series Rehaii
Soap Operas Challenging Mores
Turkish soap opera Noor
Dark Side to Technology
Gaining Speed: Technology’s Quiet
Revolution for Women