Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

International Women Online Journal of Distance Education






01 (14 pp.)


This article is taken from a larger review of extant research from a chapter titled “The role of mobile learning in promoting global literacy and human rights for women and girls” from the Handbook of Research on the Societal Impact of Digital Media. In this article we review the fairly recent advances in combating illiteracy around the globe through the use of mobile phones and e-readers most recently in the Worldreader program and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) mobile phone and reading initiatives. Utilizing key human rights publications and the lens of transnational feminist discourse, which addresses globalization and the monolithic hegemonic representation of “third world” women as passive and in need of the global north’s intervention. We explore the ways in which digital media provides increased access to books, and other texts and applications in both English and native languages for people in the global south. Although the use of e-readers, mobile phones and other mobile learning initiatives are providing advances in combating illiteracy, the tensions and power imbalances of digital illiteracies as to which resources are available by whom, for whom and why, must also be examined.


Copyright © International Women Online Journal of Distance Education /


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

Original Publication Citation

Crompton, H., & Dunkerly-Bean, J. (2016). Advances in promoting literacy and human rights for women and girls through mobile learning. International Women Online Journal of Distance Education, 5(2), 01.