As the popularity of the Internet in developing countries continues to accelerate, experts warn that it is likely to persist or even exacerbate existing gender inequalities. A recent study by the International Telecommunication Union, a specialized agency of the United Nations, found that despite the global Internet penetration, the subsequent digital gender divide could hinder women’s access to education, health care, and other government services. The digital gender divide is defined as the gap between men and women in access to technology.
Today, about 4.1 billion people (53.6% of the population) have access to the Internet. However, according to ITU, this accessibility is clearly biased towards men. Globally, 58% of all men have access to the Internet, compared with less than half (48%) of women. The report pointed out that this gap is particularly evident in the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and the Arab countries. The problem is not the availability of the Internet: 97% of the world’s population now lives within the coverage of mobile cellular signals, while 93% of the population is covered by 3G or higher networks. ITU’s Susan Teltscher, speaking about women in developing countries in the UK, said: “They have no access to any information available on the Internet. They have no access to many of the available applications. Now, through intelligence Mobile phones can help them communicate, get education, health care and government services.”
Tezcher, head of ITU’s Human Resources Development Department, said: “This will, of course, have major consequences because they are excluded from the increasingly digital world.” ITU still has about 3.6 billion people offline, calling on governments not only to promote Internet as an “important development priority” but also to ensure digital skills training and affordable mobile technologies (such as smartphones) ) Make appropriate investments so that everyone can use it as well. Even if there is connectivity, we must be more creative in solving key issues, such as the affordability of services, the price of mobile phones, and the lack of digital skills and literacy so that more people, especially women, can participate and prosper. To develop the digital economy, Dorint Bogdan Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau, said in the report.