June 17, 2021 5:41:30 pm
A record number of women in South Asia are now using mobile internet services, according to the fourth annual GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report, which shows a shrink in the gender gap to 15% from 19% last year in low-and middle-income countries.
The report estimates that in low and middle-income countries, around 112 million more women started using mobile internet in 2020. The study finds that despite the bridge in gap, still 234 million fewer women than men access mobile internet.
Some of the possible reasons for the same is said to attributed to factors including affordability, lack of literacy, digital skills, lack of awareness, structural inequalities in society and discriminative social norms. The report also states that even though women may have the same levels of education, income, literacy, and employment as men they are still less likely to use mobile internet.
South Asia, which once had the largest gender gap in 2019 with women 50 per cent less likely than men to use mobile internet, has now reduced it. The number stands at 37 per cent in Sub-Saharan Africa and 36 per cent in South Asia.
The report also found out that in almost all the regions that were surveyed. women were more likely than men to access the internet exclusively via mobile. In Kenya, 79 per cent of females said they only used the internet via a mobile device compared to 63 per cent of male internet users.