Internet user gender gap widens to 12% in 2016

Despite worldwide endeavours, the global Internet user gender gap widened from 11% in 2013 to 12% in 2016, with the gap highest in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) (31%) and Africa (23%). Moreover, Internet penetration rates remain higher for men than women in all regions of the world.

internetThis is according to a report from The Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development’s Working Group on the Digital Gender Divide, co-chaired by the GSMA and UNESCO.

The report also sets recommendations to address the barriers women face in access and use of the internet. The report highlights key action areas for different types of stakeholders as part of the group’s efforts to ensure that all women and girls can fully participate in the online world.

Structural inequalities remain and impede women’s full and equal participation in the digital economy. Greater Internet access and use can not only have a positive impact on women’s lives, but can deliver significant benefits to the wider economy and society, and support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular Goal 9c, which contains a target for universal and affordable access to information and communications technologies (ICTs) in LDCs by 2020.

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