Intel Corporation recently released a groundbreaking report on “Women and the Web,” unveiling concrete data on the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for women. To better understand the gender gap, Intel commissioned this study and consulted with the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, UN Women and World Pulse, a global network for women. The report issues a call to action to double the number of women and girls online in developing countries from 600 million today to 1.2 billion in 3 years.
On average, across the developing world nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report. Further, the study found that one in five women in India and Egypt believes the Internet is not appropriate for them.
Support for the study is part of Intel’s commitment to bridge this gender gap and empower people through innovation and education.
The report’s findings are based on interviews and surveys of 2,200 women and girls living in urban and peri-urban areas of four focus countries: Egypt, India, Mexico and Uganda, as well as analyses of global databases. The findings were unveiled during a panel discussion today in Washington, D.C. as part of the 2-day international working forum on women, ICT (Information and Communication Technologies) and development hosted by the State Department and UN Women.
Key highlights from the report:
- Gender barriers are real. One in five women in India and Egypt believes the Internet is not “appropriate” for them. On average across the developing world, nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.
Across the surveyed countries, nearly half of respondents used the Web to search for and apply for a job, and 30 percent had used the Internet to earn additional income.
- Increases women’s sense of empowerment. More than 70 percent of Internet users considered the Internet “liberating” and 85 percent said it “provides more freedom.”
- Enabling Internet access for more women and girls in developing countries promises immediate, and immense, benefits. Seeing another 600 million women online would mean that 40 percent of women and girls in developing countries, nearly double the share today, would have access to the transformative power of the Internet. And, it could potentially contribute an estimated US$13 billion to $18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.
More on the report here.