While You Were Sleeping Malala Was Creating A Literacy App For Girls


Listen, that title wasn’t an attempt to shame you into doing something meaningful with your life…or was it? No but seriously you guys, we just wanted to point out that Malala is most likely the “girl on fire” what Alicia Keys was singing about because at 16 years old she doesn’t show any sign of slowing down.

Meanwhile the Taliban members who shot her in the head in 2012 to try and stop her from promoting education for girls in Pakistan have probably accepted that a gun isn’t powerful to stop a young woman on a noble crusade. Perhaps her speech at the United Nations in 2013, the release of her book ‘I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up For Education’, the worldwide press and Nobel Peace Prize nomination are a good enough example of how powerless a gun can be compared to the will and voice of a passionate young woman.

Last month we saw the education activist visiting child refugees from Syria who are being left without an education while the country struggles in the midst of a war. Now she is going one step further and doing something that will hopefully affect girls on a global scale. She is creating a literacy mobile app that will bring education to the 493 million women and 76 million girls globally that cannot read or write.

Her organization The Malala Fund has teamed up with telecom giant Vodafone for this venture and made the announcement during the Connected Women Summit in London, Monday March 3rd. The Vodafone foundation looks for opportunities to help people get the most out of life by utilizing their powerful mobile platform. This partnership with Malala is a perfect example.

Vodafone Foundation director Andrew Dunnett made this statement about the new partnership with Malala:

“Getting a mobile for the first time can change a woman’s life forever, and preventing the gender gap from widening would yield a significant economic benefit. We look forward to working with the Malala Fund to give more women the knowledge and skills to take greater control of their lives and increase their participation in the workforce.”

According to research by the telco, 300 million fewer women have access to a mobile phone globally, and 91 million of those affected live in markets Vodafone operates in. Which means they are perfectly situation to do something about this issue.


They also say that due to cultural and political restraints in certain third world countries, physically attending a school may be impossible. But with access to a mobile phone they can potentially alleviate that problem and be part of a solution.

This isn’t the first initiative they have taken to help women leave a life of poverty and discrimination. They teamed up with Olympic Champion Indian boxer Mary Kom for their Vodafone Firsts program to help her set up a self defense school for young women to be able to garner skills to protect themselves from physical violence which unfortunately seems to be so rampant in India.

Andrew Dunnett also mentioned a statistic from a recent Vodafone report which estimates that connecting more women globally on mobile phones could help pull 5.3 million out of illiteracy by 2020, and as a knock-on effect help reduce the number of domestic violence attacks perpetrated against women by 80,000 during the same time frame.

If men and terrorists are so hell bent on reducing the education of girls to diminish them, imagine how differently the world would be if all of those oppressed women now had the chance to change the status quo with a mobile app always within reach of their fingertips?

Yet another reason to celebrate women’s voices and advocate speaking up for a worthwhile cause. Let this be a challenge to all of us to do something positive with our lives.




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