Read the latest from the Web Foundation

Our Research and Publications

Women’s Rights Online Digital Gender Gap Audit

September 9, 2016

Information and communications technologies (ICTs) are powerful tools for achieving everything from enhanced incomes and wider access to credit, to quality education and healthcare for all and more accountable government.

Yet a formidable gender gap in Internet access, digital skills, and online rights remains to be closed. Last year, survey research carried out by our Women’s Rights Online network revealed extreme gender and poverty inequalities in digital empowerment across urban poor areas in 10 cities. Women were 50% less likely than men to be online, and 30-50% less likely to use the Internet for economic and political empowerment.

Our inaugural Digital Gender Gap Audit expands on the survey results by assessing the policy efforts and progress made in 10 countries* around the main challenges identified through our research. We based our scores on 14 simple indicators for which reliable empirical evidence exists, and grading was done in the second quarter of 2016.

You can download a global overview of our scores as well as each national report card below.

We hope these findings can lead to concrete policy change in the ten countries we’ve studied, and welcome feedback, comments and debate on our analysis. A toolkit designed to enhance understanding and use of the report cards can be found here. Follow us @webfoundation on Twitter to join the debate.

Foundation for Media Alternatives; Fundación Karisma; ICT Watch; International Association of Women in Radio and Television; IT for Change; Media Foundation for West Africa; Paradigm Initiative Nigeria; Science Innovation Information and Communication Technology Research Institute (SIITRI);Tadwein Gender Research Centre; Women of Uganda Network (WOUGNET)

*Note that the original study included Cameroon instead of Ghana, but we have chosen to highlight Ghana in the report cards as part of the 2016 Africa Summit on Women & Girls in Technology, held 13-14 September in Accra, Ghana.