More men using the Internet than women as gap widens: ITU
A study has revealed that there are more men online than women, across the global population.
According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), 58% of Internet users are men.
“Latest figures show that while Internet use continues to spread, the digital gender gap is also growing. More effective action is urgently needed to address a range of barriers – cultural, financial and skills-related – that are impeding Internet uptake, especially among women,” ITU Director Doreen Bogdan-Martin said.
The report found that the gap between men and women was small in developed countries and large in developing countries.
ITU further noted that over the last six years, the gap has increased significantly especially for the developing and least developed countries.
In the Americas, the gender gap hovered around zero and has been shrinking in the CIS countries and Europe; however, in the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa, the gender gap continued to widen.
Only 8 per cent of countries around the world had the proportion of women using the Internet as higher than that of men.
The study found that gender equality in Internet use was in one-quarter of countries.
OWN MOBILE PHONE
In terms of mobile phone ownership, mobile phone ownership was found to be correlated with income levels.
The lowest mobile phone ownership rates were found in Africa and South Asia while the highest rates were in Europe, with Latin America in between.
Interestingly, in 24 of the 85 countries for which data was available, a higher proportion of women than men were reported to own a mobile phone.
Most countries with a large gender gap in mobile phone ownership also have a large gender gap among Internet users.
“Given that mobile phones are the most frequently used means of accessing the Internet, addressing this gender gap could help to reduce the Internet usage gender gap,” ITU said.