Women lag far behind in mobile internet access, GSMA research finds
According to GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report 2022.
The study shows that even after years of progress towards digital inclusion, only 59 million women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) started using mobile internet in 2021, compared to 110 million in 2020.
The slowing growth rate of women contrasts with the still high growth rates of men, according to the study.
In the LITIs, the report shows that the gender gap in mobile internet has narrowed each year from 2017 to 2020, from 25% to 15%. However, GSMA data from 2021 suggests that momentum has been lost.
Women are now 16% less likely than men to use mobile internet, which equates to 264 million fewer women than men using mobile internet.
In South Asia, traditionally the region with the largest mobile gender gap, this rebound has been even sharper. The gender gap in mobile internet had narrowed significantly from 67% in 2017 to 36% in 2020, but has now widened to 41%.
“The disturbing statistics from our Mobile Gender Gap 2022 report show that much more needs to be done to prevent women from being left behind in the digital economy. Institutions, businesses and governments around the world need to focus on the importance of inclusion and actively seek to combat these inequalities,” said GSMA Chief Executive Mats Granryd.
The study highlighted the importance of mobile usage, especially for women. He cited the pandemic, which highlighted the importance of mobiles as a valuable tool to help women access health information, stay in touch with family during lockdown and generate income.
This first appeared in the CommsWire subscription newsletter on June 17, 2022.
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