Digitally supported public health interventions through the lens of structural injustice: The case of mobile apps responding to violence against women and girls

Ela Sauerborn, Katharina Eisenhut, Agomoni Ganguli-Mitra, Verina Wild

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Mobile applications (apps) have gained significant popularity as a new intervention strategy responding to violence against women and girls. Despite their growing relevance, an assessment from the perspective of public health ethics is still lacking. Here, we base our discussion on the understanding of violence against women and girls as a multidimensional, global public health issue on structural, societal and individual levels and situate it within the theoretical framework of structural injustice, including epistemic injustice. Based on a systematic app review we previously conducted, we evaluate the content and functions of apps through the lens of structural injustice. We argue that technological solutions such as apps may be a useful tool in the fight against violence against women and girls but have to be situated within the broader frame of public health that considers the structural dimensions of such violence. Ultimately, the concerns raised by structural injustice are-alongside key concerns of safety, data privacy, importance of human supportive contact, and so forth-crucial dimensions in the ethical assessment of such apps. However, research on the role and relevance of apps as strategies to address the structural and epistemic dimensions of violence remains scarce. This article aims to provide a foundation for further discussion in this area and could be applicable to other areas in public health policy and practice.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBioethics
Early online date20 Oct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Oct 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • epistemic injustice
  • gender inequality
  • mobile applications
  • mobile health
  • structural injustice
  • violence against women and girls

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