Statistics on the Gender Digital Divide

Gender-disaggregated statistics on information, communication, and technology (ICT) access and penetration:

  • Gender digital divide is prevalent across countries and continents.
    • In South Africa, 7% of women have no access to telephone, compared to 5% of men in 2001. The number was 24% for women and 15% for men (1996).
    • In Ethiopia, only 4.4% of women watch television once a week compared to 7.5% of men, 11.2% of women listen to radio once a week compared to 23.8% of men (2000).
    • In Czech Republic, 60% of women have access to mobile phones, compared to 72% of men (2003).
    • In Taiwan, 59% of women are internet users while 63.2% of men are. The female/male ratio which is 93.4 is internet usage is only 70.3 in mobile internet usage (2004).
    • In Italy, 35% of women have computer access while 48% of men do. 27% of women have internet access while 39% of men do (2005).
    • In Norway, 57% of women have internet access from home, a number that is 64% for men. Computer access is 73% for women and 78% for men. 91% of women have mobile phone access while 94% of men do (2002).
  • Closing the digital divide does not automatically result in the closure of the gender divide.
    • Norway’s internet penetration is similar to Canada’s, but only 43% of women have internet access while 51% of women in Canada do.
    • Netherlands’ 40% of women internet users match Brazil, Mexico, Zimbabwe, and Tunisia in numbers. However, internet penetration rate is 60% in Netherlands, compared to 5% in Brazil and Mexico.

To quote:

Access, location of use, patterns of use, frequency, intensity and type of use are all areas of concern. As well, gaps in ICT literacy, education and training pose specific challenges for women.

Women in the Information Society by Sophia Huyer, Nancy Hafkin, Heidi Ertl and Heather Dryburgh from Orbicom’s “From the Digital Divide to Digital Opportunities: Measuring Infostates for Development” (pdf). The chapter on gender digital divide has the best aggregation of world-wide, gender-related information, statistics, and projects on ICT.

Categories: research, stats

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