Updated: February 21, 2019 10:23:37 am
Indian women are 26 per cent less likely than Indian men to own a mobile phone, and 56 per cent less likely to use mobile Internet, according to the findings of a new report by Global System for Mobile Communications (GSMA), a London-based global trade body representing 750 operators with over 350 companies.
While the 2019 Mobile Gender Gap Report found that 80 per cent of women in low-and middle-income countries are now mobile owners, the gender gap in mobile ownership is not closing.
In such countries, women remain 10 per cent less likely than men to own a mobile phone, and 23 per cent less likely than men to use mobile Internet. The mobile gender gap is widest in South Asia, where women are 28% less likely than men to own a mobile device and 58% less likely to use the mobile Internet.
While 80 per cent women own mobiles in low- and middle-income countries, it is 59 per cent among India women. That compares with 80% of Indian men who are mobile owners.
“We are seeing significantly increased mobile access for women, however in an increasingly connected world, women are still being left behind,” Mats Granryd, GSMA director general, said in a statement. “While mobile connectivity is spreading quickly, it is not spreading equally. Unequal access to mobile technology threatens to exacerbate the inequalities women already experience.”
The statement said the GSMA found that closing the gender gaps in mobile ownership and usage represents a substantial commercial opportunity for the mobile industry.
Over the next five years, low-and middle-income countries could gain an estimated additional $140 billion in mobile industry revenue if operators could close these gender gaps by 2023.
The GSMA also found that closing the mobile gender gap could be an important driver of economic growth. These markets could also add an additional $700 billion in GDP growth by 2023, it said.
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