2025 Broadband Advocacy Target 7

BRIDGE THE GENDER DIGITAL DIVIDE

By 2025, gender equality should be achieved across all targets

In 2013, the Broadband Commission drew attention to the importance of gender equality among Internet users, by introducing an additional target, so that the benefits of broadband Internet reach everyone. 

Tracking progress

While the gender gap has decreased in many developed countries since 2021, it has expanded in many developing countries – creating a specific need to support digital gender equality in these regions. Notable gender gaps in mobile Internet access persist in LMICs with 69% of men and 63% of women using the internet in 2022. Though this improved to 36% in South Asia in 2020, progress has now stalled across LMICs and in some countries the mobile internet gender gap has even increased. In addition, women are currently 18% less likely (16% in 2020) than men to own a smartphone, impacting women’s access to and use of mobile money services.

In 2019, it was estimated that 55% of the male population was using the internet compared with 48% of the female population. The ITU’s 2021 Facts and Figures Report, saw a large increase showing that globally, in 2020, the gender digital divide had narrowed, with 62% of all men were using the Internet, compared with 57% of all women.

The Broadband Commission examines all its connectivity work and research through a gender equality lens, ensuring that any recommendations are inclusive of these aspects.