The gender gap in mobile internet usage remains substantial, with over 300 million fewer women than men accessing the Internet from a mobile device in low- and middle-income countries, a new GSMA finding has revealed.
“Affordability remains the critical barrier to mobile ownership, while lower awareness, as well as a lack of literacy and digital skills, are vital factors preventing women’s mobile internet use,” the London-based telecom group in a statement said.
The telecom sector, according to it, is renewing its commitment to reaching women with digital and financial services to address the persistent mobile gender gap.
The study finds that the mobile internet gender gap has narrowed and 54% of women in low- and middle-income countries now use mobile internet, up from 44% in 2017.
“We are seeing important progress in driving equal internet access for women, but the pace of progress still remains slow. We urge business and government communities to continue prioritising efforts to drive more equal access to mobile technology,” Mats Granryd, director general, GSMA said.
“Ensuring digital and financial inclusion for women is critically important, as we know that when women thrive, societies, businesses and economies thrive,” Granryd added.
The underlying gender gap in mobile ownership remains largely unchanged and 165 million fewer women than men own a mobile, according to the finding.