Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date




Publication Title

Handbook of Research on the Societal Impact of Digital Media




In this chapter the authors review the fairly recent advances in combating illiteracy around the globe through the use of e-readers and mobile phones most recently in the Worldreader program and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) mobile phone reading initiatives. Situated in human rights and utilizing the lens of transnational feminist discourse which addresses globalization and the hegemonic, monolithic portrayals of “third world” women as passive and in need of the global North’s intervention, the authors explore the ways in which the use of digital media provides increased access to books, and other texts and applications in both English and native languages for people in developing countries. However, while advances in combating illiteracy through the use of e-readers, mobile phones and other mobile learning initiatives are promising, the tensions and power imbalances of digital literacies, which resources are available by whom, for whom and why, must also be examined.


Copyright © 2016 by IGI Global. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored or distributed in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, without written permission from the publisher.

Included with the kind written permission of the publisher.


0000-0002-7603-6021 (Dunkerly-Bean), 0000-0002-1775-8219 (Crompton)

Original Publication Citation

Dunkerly-Bean, J. M., & Crompton, H. (2018). The role of mobile learning in promoting global literacy and human rights for women and girls. In B. J. Guzzetti & M. Lesley (Eds.), Handbook of research on the societal impact of digital media (pp. 582-608). Information Science Reference (IGI Global).