Why men have more internet access worldwide

People in a cyber cafe
People in a cyber cafe

A recent survey has shown that, globally, men are more likely to access the internet than women.

In the Inclusive Internet Index compiled by the Economist, men were said to be 33.5% more likely to access the internet than women.

The question however, is why do men have more access?

“Women globally have less access to education and less chance of entering the jobs market,” a past report in the Guardian said.

As a result of these two factors, most women cannot afford internet let alone learn how to use it.

In the African continent, the same statistics apply, but with a higher intensity.

Less than 20% of the women in Africa can access the internet, the lowest rate in the world according to the index.

To make matters worse, internet access in Africa is driven by mobile phones in countries where data is the most expensive in the world.

According to the Guardian, 1GB of data could cost up to ten percent of an individual’s earnings in a part of the world where the majority of its population is either below the poverty line or teetering above it.

Telcom companies also offer most of their content targeting men for example: sports.

Statistics also attributed the trend to patriarchy which is still evident in the world today where technology is seen as a field suitable mostly for men.

A survey conducted in India and the Phillipines revealed that a majority of men ”half believed that they should be able to restrict what women do online, while two thirds agreed that women should not use the internet in public spaces.”

Cases of online harassment also keep a big number of women away from the internet.

There are however a few countries where more women have internet access such as Jamaica.

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Story By Duncan Mutwiri
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