Intel today released a report on “Women and the Web” looking at the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and 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 three years.
Working with the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues and UN Women and World Pulse, a global network for women, the Intel-commissioned research comprised interviews with 2,200 women and girls in urban and peri-urban areas of four focus countries: Egypt, India, Mexico and Uganda. The study represents the first attempt to quantify the internet gender gap, to assess what prevents women from accessing the internet, and to identify ways to get more women online.
The report highlights that 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. Further, the study found that one in five women in India and Egypt believes the Internet is not appropriate for them.
Doubling the number of women online would mean that 40 percent of women and girls in developing countries would have access to the transformative power of the Internet and its economic, educational and social benefits . This goal, if realised, could potentially contribute an estimated US $13 billion to $18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.
For more information, the full report can be viewed here.