India still have a large number of illiterate people, 1 out of 4 adult are illiterate (2018 data) and most of these are women. The situation is improving year over year but 200 million women are still illiterate.
Nevertheless, the combination of low price smartphones (under 100$) and low cost phone data plans (the cost per GB has decreased from 3.1$ per GB in 2016 to 0.09$ in 2020) is creating an opportunity for women to use the web and become part of the productive economy.
Being illiterate meant that the use of the web was off limit. Also, notice that in India there are some 30 official languages, most using characters that are different from the English ones being used on the web, so that you may be literate in one of those languages but yo are still cut off from the web. No longer so.
With smartphones it has become possible to communicate using a mix of voice and images, as well as to retrieve information using voice search. This has been a game changer for many illiterate people. One can now call a person just by tapping on the image with his face and can send voice messages associated to a photo taken with the smartphone.
Women in India have started to leverage on smartphones as education tools. Google and Tata are providing lessons over a four days period on using smartphones that can be watched on the smartphone screen showing how to use voice command in local languages. Once educated on its use they act as evangelists educating more people.
This opens up the possibility of accessing the throve of practical information content available on YouTube, like how to stitch fabric to create nice patterns that can be sold on the market. In turns, this allows quite a few women to become entrepreneurs officially entering into a labour force that has been precluded to them (only 5% of of them were formally part of the labour force in the the state of Haryana).
This is not restricted to India. In several other South East Countries and in Africa the smartphone has become a tool for emancipation through education and entrepreneurship.