India Ranks Among Lowest in Women’s Access to Mobiles, Internet

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A study by LIRNEAsia — an information and communications technology policy think tank — has revealed that India has the highest gender gap in mobile phone ownership. According to an The Indian Express report, the study shows that India ranks among the lowest in women’s access to the Internet.

The study was released by the think tank in the presence of N Sivasailam, special secretary of the Department of Telecommunications, and representatives from Cellular Operators Association on India (COAI). The study states that women, rural citizens, and those belonging to lower income or education groups, have less access to Internet and social media.

The LIRNEAsia studied 18 countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Rwanda and India for this survey.

While 80% of men in India use mobile phones, only 43% of women have a similar access. The reason for this, as reported by Indian Express, is largely the lack of awareness.

While 80% of men in India use mobile phones, only 43% of women have access to mobiles.
While 80% of men in India use mobile phones, only 43% of women have access to mobiles.
(Photo Courtesy: Harsh Sahani/The Quint)

This gender gap in usage of mobile phone surpasses all other countries in the survey and is largely because of the lack of awareness. The gender gap is more intense in rural areas than in urban areas.

The gender gap in Internet usage, according to survey, is 57%, falling only behind Bangladesh and Rwanda. The gender gap in social media usage was even higher, with only Bangladesh topping India.

64% of Indians don’t know about the internet.
64% of Indians don’t know about the internet.
(Photo Courtesy: Harsh Sahani/The Quint)

The study shows that only 29% Indians trust social media for news. Internet users in India face more online harassment than those in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia.

The gap between urban-rural mobile phone usage is also intense in India, with 71% urban population using mobile phones and only 55% in rural areas. A mere 19% of the total population has access to India.

Urban-rural divide in mobile phone usage.
Urban-rural divide in mobile phone usage.
(Photo Courtesy: Harsh Sahani/The Quint)

According to Indian Express, CEO of LIRNEAsia Helani Galpaya said:

India should be doing better than this because it is performing like the poorest countries in the sample.

On the brighter side, the awareness of e-commerce platforms was higher in India than in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Interestingly, a higher percentage of women use social media for marketing and educational content. On the other hand, men chat significantly more on social media than women do, reported The Indian Express.

(With inputs from The Indian Express.)

Source: The Quint 

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