Gendering Design of M-Health Applications to Support Marginalized Women: A Case of Maternal and Child Health Services in Tanzania

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This study aimed at addressing a gap in the existing literature by providing empirical insights into gendered ICT design in rural African settings. The research used qualitative research methods to identify design weaknesses that were causing the exclusion of the poorest and most rural women. The research design enrolled rural women to inform the redesign of the Tanzanian mHealth application, the DHIS Tracker. The app is designed to enable economically disadvantaged rural women to receive targeted healthcare appointments and advice via SMS text messages. Gendered design is used as a conceptual framework to guide the analysis. Also, we use insights from Buskens (2015)’s categories of strategies for empowering women; conformist, reformist and transformist to inform how gendered design can be done in the rural African context. The article ends by providing insights to policy and managerial levels that can be used to promote women empowerment.

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