What is a "female-specific mobile handset"? [Telecom]

I was catching up on some news of the past week and came upon an interesting article at the BBC entitled "Initiative aims to supply millions of mobiles to women" at this URL:

The article begins:

" A woman living in sub-Saharan Africa is 23% less likely than a " man to own a mobile phone, according to research. " " This figure rises to 24% in the Middle East and increases again " to 37% for a woman living in South Asia, found the study by the " GSM Association. " " In total, it found, 300 million fewer women than men in " developing countries owned a mobile. " " An initiative called mWomen proposes to halve this "gender gap" " within three years. " " The programme, championed by Cherie Blair, the wife of former " British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and US Secretary of State " Hillary Clinton aims to provide 150 million women around the " world with access to mobile phone technology. " " Mrs Blair said there were many benefits a mobile phone could " bring to women. " " "There is so much you can do with a mobile phone," she told the " BBC World Service. " " "It can help with literacy. It can help with health programmes " and projects and it's a way of helping women develop small " businesses and get financial independence." " " 'Essential item' " " As part of the initiative, there will be tariffs created " especially for women as well as the development of a " female-specific handset. It will also create projects to educate " men about the positive aspects of women owning a mobile phone. " [...]

I'm still scratching my head trying to understand what would be a female-specific handset without being risqué. :-)

Anyone have any ideas? Just curious.

Reply to
Thad Floryan
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Colors and styles more attractive to women, e.g. pink.

Reply to
Barry Margolin

A handset bedecked with rhinestones? using pink rather than black or silver plastic? You recognize "female-specific" shoes, or slacks, or wallets, or hats, or blouses, or handkerchiefs, no? What's so strange about "female-specific" cellular handsets? :-)

Cheers, -- tlvp

-- Avant de repondre, jeter la poubelle, SVP

Reply to

I'm scratching my head wondering why this is necessarily an issue. I'm willing to bet in the US more men than women own hammers and drills while more women own sewing machines and knitting needles.

Do women need, or even want, mobile phones in these countries?

What percentage of the overall population owns mobiles? If only a small fraction own them, the women being 23% less likely isn't the real story.

Sounds like a classic case of trying to apply western political correctness where it really doesn't apply. I'd be more concerned about getting good health care for these women. Forget mobile phones.


Reply to
John Mayson

You can buy hand tools specifically made for women. Smaller handles, lighter weights, and pink grips (so the men in their lives won't borrow them). I suppose the same could be done for cell phones - buttons that work with long nails, female favorite colors, an on screen mirror function with a forward facing camera, easily triggered piercing alarm in case of attack, e.t.c.


Reply to

Given that they don't have access to landline phones in those countries, yes.

The phone may be an important part of the health-care delivery system, particularly for the rural poor who may not be able to travel to a clinic.


Reply to
Garrett Wollman

I would think so. Search for "telephone ladies" and you will find lots of stories about poor women in south Asia who make a business of selling mobile phone service by the call, and what a big difference it can make to small farmers, e.g.:

Mohammed Abul Kashem runs a fish farm of 10 man-made ponds. He uses the phone service to order food and other supplies from the capital.

"If the phone wasn't here then I'd have to travel to Dhaka," he says. "It's a very long and unpleasant journey. "Now I can use the phone I am saving time and it makes my business more competitive."

R's, John

Reply to
John Levine

Based on Motorola's past RAZR offerings, the phone needs to be pink, ridiculous as that sounds. But seriously, there may be issues in third world countries regarding womens' vs. mens' literacy, religious or cultural matters affecting the sexes, or other issues that may require different emphases in a handset designed for women in a particular country.

Reply to
Michael D. Sullivan

I hope just coloring a phone pink is not the answer, I am a woman who hates the color pink. I would think making phones smaller so that they fit better in a woman's hand would be nice, for me some Blackberrys feel very cumbersome because they are so wide. The other issue I have is finding headsets that fit my tiny little ears properly (the Jabra 125 fits well though).

-April Coffman

Reply to
April Coffman

Apparently marketers think that women would like an item colored pink. They even make guns with a pink color:

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Reply to

So? Just because something is female-specific doesn't mean it's expected to be attractive to ALL women. Just more attractive to women in general.

By analogy, dresses are female-specific clothing, but there are many women who prefer not to wear dresses.

I expect some of these things are in their mind, too.

It could also be marketing differences. There are cigarette brands that are more popular among blacks, yet I assume there's not much difference in the way blacks and whites smoke cigarettes.

Reply to
Barry Margolin

Well, bringing this back to telecom there's this:

Hello Kitty Lineman's Handset Telephone

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Reply to
Joseph Singer

I was sitting in the largest mall in Oklahoma City a day or two ago and of the three women who passed talking on the phone two had pink phones, the other one white. One also had a matching pink shoulder bag. Of the men who came by using a phone, all had black or silver phones. Wes Leatherock snipped-for-privacy@aol.com snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com

Reply to
Wes Leatherock

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