Women and the Web

Although access to the Internet is spreading rapidly in developing countries, women are nearly 25 percent less likely than men to be online. This gender gap—which today prevents a staggering 200 million women from participating online—is projected to perpetuate. A dedicated and coordinated effort by public and private sector actors is urgently needed to accelerate the pace of progress in bridging this gap. Without any concerted action, 450 million new female Internet users are projected to come online in the next three years, simply as a result of organic growth in Internet penetration. We believe progress can be accelerated to add 600 million new female Internet users within three years, rather than 450 million, which would double the number of women and girls online. As this report will explain, doubling the women and girls online in such a short timeframe is an ambitious but eminently achievable goal—given a concerted multi-stakeholder campaign. This is an opportunity worth urgently pursuing because the faster the internet gender gap is closed, the sooner women, their families, communities and countries will realize the significant socio-economic benefits that can be unlocked through access to the Internet.

2012, 104 pages