This difference is substantially more than all other countries in the survey, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Rwanda
India may be the world’s second-biggest smartphone market, but in terms of mobile phone ownership, it witnesses the largest gender gap among 18 comparable countries. It ranks among the lowest in women’s access to the internet.
LIRNEAsia, an information and communications technology policy think tank, released a study regarding internet usage in India. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) special secretary N Sivasailam was also present at the launch of the study, with members of Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Indian Express reported.
Only 43 percent of Indian women own cellphones compared to 80 percent of Indian men, and the report attributed this gap to lack of awareness. This difference is substantially more than all other countries in the survey, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Rwanda.
Rural regions have seen the most gender gap, a whopping 52 percent, compared to a 34 percent gap in urban areas.
India sees a significant gender gap in internet usage as well, surpassed only by Bangladesh and Rwanda. The gap in social media usage was even wider.
One of the key findings of the study suggested that women shared less information on the internet than men in almost all categories, except political and sexual orientation.
Only 29 percent Indians using the internet trust news they come across on social media, while more than half do not. At least 19 percent of Indian users on the web have faced harassment, a number which is higher than Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cambodia. This majorly includes offensive name-calling and in 20 percent of such cases, it has led to reduced use of the websites.
Meanwhile, awareness about e-commerce and its websites was much higher in India than countries like Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mobile phone ownership in urban areas was 71 percent while in rural areas it was 55 percent.Sivasailam said it is possible to act on this data and develop policies for the better. He said there is a baseline to work with for the first time.