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CHAPTER 2. TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING THE DIGITAL GENDER GAP IN THE GLOBAL SOUTH

This chapter highlight the significant demand-side challenges to achieving the SDG goals related to ICTs, including cost of devices and services, low education and associated income levels, digital literacy gaps, and limited availability of local and relevant content.

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The extent of mobile phone ownership and the gender gap aligns broadly — though not perfectly — with GNI per capita. The richest of the surveyed countries show the lowest gender gap. India, Pakistan and Bangladesh show the largest gender gap in mobile phone ownership and among the largest in internet use. There are notable exceptions to this pattern: Colombia, with lower overall mobile penetration, has gender parity in mobile ownership; and in South Africa, with high income disparity, more women than men own mobile phones.