The mission of MIRA channel is to improve the standard of living of rural women across the globe, especially their health indicators. MIRA tackles one of the most critical development issues of maternal and child health in developing country likes India. The lack of reproductive rights of women, maternal and child health communication tools, and disconnect with public health services in remote areas in India, is the key to poor health indicators. Due to this, India has a very high maternal mortality rate of 212/100,000 live births, Infant mortality rate of 52/1,000 live births in India. Also, majority of the women opt for traditional method of home-based delivery (51.1% of deliveries in India), putting both mother and child health in high risk. MIRA uses a fully Mobile Technology Linked model (f-mTLM) by provisioning communication tools, health manage ment tools and connecting women with public health service system
Mobile content and technology has always been ‘gender-biased’. Studies show that most mobile content designed is men specific and there are 300 million more male cell phone subscribers as compared to women. Men are usually the gate-keepers of these devices. There is no specific mobile content for women’s need. There is an absolute lack of friendly mobile apps, tools and devices for women. Moreover, the level of literacy is especially low in rural women. All this reasons keeps the women away from the use of mobile devices and apps. Men need just one calculator but women need many more calculators - the health calculators like menstrual cycle calendar, pregnancy week-by-week tracker, child immunization tracker, infection prevention & danger sign trackers, family planning calendar etc. Besides this, women also need financial literacy tools to manage their households. All this has never been provisioned to women.
Like any other developing countries and in India as well, literacy level of women is far less than the men. There is also far less levels of M-literacy (mobile literacy) among women. Some of the reasons attributed to this are socio-cultural, gender discrimination and economic reasons. There is also a huge digital divide when it comes to women and mobile phones. In India 850 million mobile, almost 520 million mobile phones are owned by men and only 330 million mobile phones are owned by women, almost 37% less women use mobile phones as compared to men. This divide is much larger in the rural areas.
MIRA channel creates a movement to make mobile phones gender-neutralize, not by changing the color of the phone pink but provisioning valuable mobile content to women which can improve their health, increase literacy levels, provide livelihood opportunities, increase their decision making capabilities and overall increase the standard of living. This will increase the uptake of mobile phones by women.
The global objective of the channel is to make mobile phones ‘Women friendly’ by provisioning serious and useful content for women to manage their lives. MIRA is an empowerment tool for women.