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USAID promotes gender equality and improved health through The Half The Sky Movement mobile games

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mobile Phone Game being using in KenyaNovember 15, 2012 - WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) launched three mobile phone games through its public-private partnership with the Half the Sky Movement. As part of the Agency’s continued support of gender and family issues, the games are designed to increase global awareness and bring about social change in the areas of health, gender equality and empowerment.

The games tackle key issues related to health and gender equity. The Family Choices game aims to increase the perception of girls’ place in and value to families, with a focus on keeping girls in schools; 9-Minutes introduces players to the key do’s and don’ts of having a healthy pregnancy; and in Worm Attack!, players work to rid themselves and their communities of intestinal worms.

Family Choices Mobile Game“These new mobile games advance two of our most important priorities--the promotion of gender equality and the use of science and innovation to accelerate development," said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. "We are pleased to partner with the Half the Sky Movement in creating innovative, accessible solutions to reach and educate women and girls about critical social, economic, and health issues.”

The Half the Sky Movement is a multi-donor, multimedia platform based on Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn’s best-selling book, Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

The three mobile phone games, executive produced by Games for Change, were developed by Mudlark and published by E-Line Media, with Hindi language solution provided by Reverie Language Technologies. The games will be disseminated for use in India and East Africa by non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and more widely through mobile phone company app stores. The games complement a series of 18 short educational and advocacy videos on health and gender-related topics that were launched in September 2012.

According to Asi Burak, co-president of Games for Change, “The challenges facing women and girls around the world need new and innovative solutions. We are strong believers in the power of games to engage, motivate, and bring about change.”

The three games were developed in partnership with NGOs working on these topics, including Deworm the World, Breakthrough, FilmAid and CEDPA. Complementing each game is a short video on the same topic and a facilitator’s guide, developed for use by community groups with their audiences.

The games will be available for download through in-country app stores (Nokia, Safaricom, GetJar, and Appia). Those interested can also email contact@gamesforchange.org to gain access to the games. The videos produced under this initiative can be found on C-Hub, a global online repository of health and development communication materials, managed by C-Change, as well as through USAID’s website.

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