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The role of ICTs as development enablers is more widely understood
today as access to new technologies, particularly mobile phones, has
grown exponentially. Mobile phone subscriptions exceeded six billion by
the end of 2012, three-quarters of which were in the developing world.
However, women are at a disadvantage: they are 21% less likely to own a
mobile phone than men, according to the latest Broadband Commission Report (PDF, 2.4Mb).
Development presents an opportunity to effectively address this and
other gender gaps. I am speaking here about sustainable human
development, about the ability to make choices and lead a healthy, long
and educated life with all that we value.