Women’s internet adoption on mobile phones reach 37 pc in India: GSMA

New Delhi: Women’s internet adoption on mobile phones has reached 37 per cent in India, while adoption among men remains stable, narrowing the gender gap from 40 per cent to 30 per cent, a global report showed on Wednesday.

In 2023, an additional 120 million women connected to the internet via mobile globally.

More women in low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) are using mobile internet than ever before, 1.5 billion (66 per cent) in total, according to the report by the GSMA, a global organisation that represents mobile network operators worldwide.

However, an alarming 785 million women remain unconnected, with approximately 60 per cent in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, said the annual ‘Mobile Gender Gap Report 2024’ by the GSMA.

Claire Sibthorpe, Head of Digital Inclusion at the GSMA, said that the reduction in the mobile internet gender gap is promising but “sustaining momentum is fragile”.

“We are collaborating with the industry, policymakers and other relevant partners to address key barriers including affordability, awareness and digital skills,” Sibthorpe added.

The GSMA estimates that closing the gender gap in mobile ownership and usage across LMICs could deliver an additional $230 billion in revenue to the mobile industry over an eight-year period.

The gender gap in mobile internet adoption across LMICs has narrowed for the first time since 2020, driven by women adopting it at a faster rate than men, particularly in South Asia.

Women are now 15 per cent less likely than men to use mobile internet across LMICs, the findings showed.

Across LMICs, there are now 1.4 billion women who own a smartphone, meaning that 60 per cent of women now own a smartphone device.

However, there are still 40 per cent of women in these countries, totalling 940 million, who do not own a smartphone.

“Mobile remains the primary — and often only — way people in LMICs access the internet, accounting for 84 per cent of broadband connections in 2023,” the report noted.


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