Intel Corporation released a groundbreaking report on “Women and the Web,” unveiling concrete data on the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for women. To better understand the gender gap, Intel commissioned this study and consulted with the U.S. State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues, UN Women and World Pulse, a global network for women. The report issues a call to action to double the number of women and girls online in developing countries from 600 million today to 1.2 billion in 3 years.
On average, across the developing world nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report. Further, the study found that one in five women in India and Egypt believes the Internet is not appropriate for them.
“This study demonstrates the enormity of the global Internet gender gap and more importantly, identifies specific ways the public, private and civil society sectors can work together to dramatically increase Internet access for women and girls,” said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and president of the Intel Foundation. “Intel has worked for decades to improve education around the world. If we can empower women and girls with the tools, resources and opportunities they need to succeed, we will transform their lives and the lives of everyone they touch.”
Seeing another 600 million women online would mean that 40 percent of women and girls in developing countries -- nearly double the share today -- would have access to the transformative power of the Internet. This goal, if realized, could potentially contribute an estimated US $13 billion to $18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.
"With the powerful capabilities the Internet enables -- to connect, to learn, to engage, to increase productivity, and to find opportunities -- women’s lack of access is giving rise to a second digital divide, one where women and girls risk being left further and further behind." said Melanne Verveer, ambassador-at-large for Global Women’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State."My hope is that this report will catalyze action to close the Internet gender gap. This will require knowledge, leadership, determination and collaboration among governments, public institutions, corporations, and civil society to tackle the wide range of gender-specific barriers to Internet access."