After years of progress towards women’s equal digital inclusion, we are now seeing a slowdown and, in some cases, a reversal. Across low- and middle-income countries, 59 million additional women started using mobile internet in 2021, a significant drop from last year when nearly twice as many started using it. Women remain 7% less likely than men to own a mobile phone, and are 16% less likely to use mobile internet. This means that there are still 264 million fewer women than men accessing mobile internet. Significant and coordinated efforts are urgently needed to reduce the gender gap and ensure that women can participate fully in a more digitised society.
The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2022 highlights how the mobile internet gender gap has remained flat in most regions, but widened in South Asia. It explores the key barriers preventing women’s equal mobile ownership and access to mobile internet as well as the widening smartphone ownership gender gap.
Findings from this report are based on results from over 11,000 face-to-face surveys across 10 low- and middle-income countries, and subsequent modelling and analysis of this survey data. Additional qualitative research was conducted in Kenya and India to build on the findings of last year’s report and to develop a more nuanced understanding of women’s access to and use of mobile internet, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The core data from this survey is available on request. Please email email@example.com.
Missed our virtual launch event? Watch the recording now and hear from Matthew Shanahan, Insights Manager of the Connected Women programme, who shares the key findings, analysis and recommendations from the report. Plus you’ll hear from guest speakers from UN Women, ITU and Reliance Jio who share their reactions to the latest findings, and discuss where we should focus our efforts to address the mobile gender gap and ensure that women are not being left behind.
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