A woman walks into an Internet cafe in a poor urban neighbourhood in the developing world.
What’s the punchline? Can she afford to get online? Does she feel uncomfortable and decide to leave and use a mobile phone to connect instead? What does she look for on the Web? Does she connect with friends and family? Is she looking for a job? Can she access information about her rights? How likely is it that she’ll face harassment? How do these factors change depending on the region of the world she calls home?
Our Women’s Rights Online study has surveyed over 7,500 women and 2,500 men in poor urban areas across the developing world* to find out more. On 21st October we will launch the results at the beginning of the Stockholm Internet Forum. We will share the findings along with video clips and photos from our partner organisations, and invite you to review and discuss the results on social media using #WomensRightsOnline. Our goal is to help governments identify what steps they need to take to get more women online, and ensure women are using the Web to its full potential once connected.
Why is further research on women’s access and use of Web so important?
- Almost 60% of the world’s population is still not online, and the 2015 Affordability Report showed that women in developing countries are disproportionately affected. Access to the Internet creates opportunities, and a lack of access leaves people behind. We need to get a clearer picture of the gender gap in access, and find out if and why women are left behind.
- The Web is a powerful tool, but Internet access alone is not enough to support women to claim and demand their rights. This study looks not just if women are using the Web, but how they experience it and what they are using it for. Are existing offline gender inequalities simply replicated in the online space? Or do women find ways to empower themselves through economic opportunity and access to information?
You can read the full results in our research paper here. Follow us on Twitter @webfoundation for updates on this project and check out our blog series below, featuring voices from the countries where our research was conducted.
*The ten countries included in the study are: Cameroon, Colombia, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Philippines, Uganda. The global report launched on 21st October includes all countries except Egypt, which will be published at a later date.