GSMA report: 100 million women annually need to embrace mobile internet to bridge gender gap by 2030

Progress in reducing the mobile internet gender gap remains stalled, the Association noted.

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The GSMA Mobile Gender Gap Report 2023 emphasises the urgency of closing the digital gender gap, highlighting that over 800 million women in low-income countries must adopt mobile internet by 2030. Currently, women in LMICs face a 19% disparity in mobile internet usage compared to men, resulting in 310 million fewer female users. However, the report warns that without significant changes, only 360 million additional women will adopt mobile broadband by the end of the decade, falling short of the target.

Affordability, literacy, digital skills, and safety concerns are identified as key barriers to adoption. To address these challenges, stakeholders, including policymakers, mobile operators, and NGOs, must collaborate and take targeted action. The report stresses the positive impact of mobile ownership and internet usage on women, their families, the economy, and businesses, underscoring the imperative of narrowing the digital gender gap.

Mats Granryd, the director general of GSMA, expresses concern about the deceleration of women’s digital inclusion, particularly in rural areas. He urges all stakeholders to unite efforts in increasing women’s access to and usage of mobile internet, ensuring that women are not left behind in an increasingly digital world. Granryd also emphasises additional obstacles like limited smartphone availability, literacy, digital skills, and security concerns.

Closing the digital gender gap requires concerted and targeted action from all stakeholders to overcome barriers and promote digital inclusion for women, GSMA underlined.