Women and the ICTs in Namibia

The Internet Society (ISOC) Namibia Chapter published the first Namibia’s Women’s Rights Online Report Card. As an independent assessment, it looks into Namibia’s digital preparedness to support the empowerment of women. The report is based on a global toolkit developed by the Web Foundation, supported by UN Women, and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The research is part of the Women’s Rights Online project conducted in 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. The project allowed for the measurement and understanding of the gender digital divide across regions. It has also enabled governments to assess their digital gender gap and implemented strategies to close it, in an effort towards achieving the sustainable development goals (SDG) on women and technology (SDG 5). Only 47% of women in Namibia have access to the Internet. There is no national policy that recognises information and communications technologies (ICTs) as a tool for fighting gender inequalities. No clear targets are set at any level of governance for using ICTs to empower women. Namibia does not collect sex-disaggregated ICT data, which is a key resource for developing policies that respond to women’s needs. The report set out five action point, calling on the government to:

  • Improve digital skills of women and girls
  • Improve ICTs affordability and access 
  • Prioritise relevant online content for women’s participation
  • Establish specific targets to close digital gender gap
  • Ensure a safe online environment that protects women’s digital rights