Facts & Figures

Throughout the past decade, researchers have been looking into the gender digital divide and its consequences for women and girls in the developing world. From the number of girls online in Asia to available bandwidth to women in Sub-Saharan Africa, plenty of data has been gathered over time. However, a lack of gender data remains in many fields. Here are some exemplary facts and figures that illustrate the case.

All

Access

Economic
Development

Working
Environment

Self-confidence

Education

Affordability

Access

ITU estimates that there are some 250 million fewer women online than men. Our ICT Fact and Figures 2016 suggest that the global Internet user gender gap grew from 11% in 2013 to 12% in 2016. At 31%, the gap remains largest in the world’s least developed countries (LDCs). (ITU, ICT Facts and Figures 2016)

Education

For every 1,000 women with a bachelor degree in Europe, 29 hold a degree in ICT, compared to 95 men (3 times more men than women).
From those 29 women with an ICT bachelor degree, only 4 currently work currently in the ICT sector. From those 95 men with an IT bachelor degree, 20 work in the ICT sector – 5 times more than women. (European Commission, Women active in the digital sector, 2013)

Self-confidence

Women’s confidence in their digital abilities rises dramatically with increased education. Among those with little or no schooling, 40% of women and 33% of men say they “don’t know how”. This drops to 9% of men and 18% of women with secondary education, and only 3% of men and 5% of women with tertiary education. (World Wide Web Foundation 2015)

Economic Development

By helping more people access and use ICT, approximately 140 million new jobs could be created in emerging markets – and many in some of the poorest areas of the world. (Deloitte, Value of connectivity: Economic and social benefits of expanding internet access, 2014)

Access

Between 2013 and 2016, the ITU measured an increase in the gender gap: The difference between the internet user penetration rates for males and females had increased to 16.8% in developing countries and to 30.9% in least developed countries. (ITU, Measuring the Information Society Report, 2016)

Working Environment

In developing contexts, men are 2.7 times more likely to work in the digital sector. In developing contexts, men are also 7.6 times more likely than women to hold occupations that require specific ICT skills. (World Bank, World Development Report 2016: Digital Dividends, 2016)

Access

Recent data by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) suggest that, on average, 12% fewer women than men have access to the internet. (ITU, ICT Facts and Figures, 2016)

Affordability

“I can’t afford it”, or “it is too expensive”: Costs are featured as the second most important concern for women who are not connected. (World Wide Web Foundation, Women’s Rights Online, 2017)

Economic Development

If twice as many women are online than today and have access to the transformative power of the internet, they could potentially contribute an estimated USD 13 billion to USD 18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries. (Intel, Women and the Web, 2013)

Access

More women than men report never having accessed the internet on their mobile phones. The mobile broadband access gender gap is 45% in sub- Saharan Africa, and up to 50% in some parts of rural Asia. (Alliance for Affordable Internet, 2015; Web Foundation, Women’s Rights Online, 2015)

Education

In the early 1980s, 36% of female graduates majored in computer science in the US. In 2010 only 18% of female graduates majored in computer science in the US. (National Science Foundation, 2014)

Self-confidence

Particularly, lower levels of technical and digital literacy skills as well as lower confidence impact women’s access to, and use of, ICT. In general, more women than men report difficulties in using mobile phones or the internet: Women are 1.6 times more likely to report lack of skills as a barrier to internet use. (World Wide Web Foundation 2015)

Affordability

One gigabyte of data costs as much as 76% of monthly poverty line incomes in Nigeria. (World Wide Web Foundation, Women’s Rights Online, 2017)