We are very excited to be joined at Fixfest 2017 by Becky Faith, whose PhD research looked at how socially-excluded young women across the UK use mobile phones. For women who rely on their phones as their only source of internet and have trouble accessing charge points, problems like low battery life are exacerbated. “Having to charge and repair phones is a nuisance for most people”, she says, “but for women who are insecurely housed and on limited incomes these issues are more critical.”
As well as economic hardship, Becky also investigated gender issues such as the ways in which phones facilitate sexual harassment. Her research revealed ways in which technologies do not serve everyone in the same ways, and how improved usability is crucial for making digital worlds more inclusive.
Becky is now Deputy Leader of the Digital and Technology research group at the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex.
Becky worked with NGOs Tactical Tech and Fahamu, looking at the early work of activists using mobile phones across Africa: including the first ever SMS-based petition.
Becky has fascinating insights into ways in which technology and social justice issues are connected: sometimes for better, sometimes for worse.
Watch Becky’s presentation at Fixfest