Leaders around the globe have declared their commitment to making universal, affordable internet access a reality for all, but no country will achieve universal internet access without overcoming the growing digital gender gap. This report provides a global assessment of national ICT and broadband policies to examine whether countries are putting into place the policies needed to connect women.
Gender-responsive policies that address the unique barriers to internet access and use faced by women are critical to expand access opportunities to all. Yet, the research finds that only a few governments have taken any policy action to increase internet access and use among women. The report outlines a number of steps that governments must take in order to develop and implement these gender-responsive policies. It specifically calls on policymakers to REACT — that is, to create policy with women and for women focusing on:
Rights: Protecting and enhancing everyone’s rights online
Education: Using education to equip everyone with the skills needed to access and use the web effectively.
Access: Delivering affordable access to an open internet.
Content: Ensuring relevant content is available and used.
Targets: Keeping policymakers accountable for the promises they’ve made.
Download the full report to learn more about the progress that has been made so far and what steps policymakers should take to make concrete progress made toward achieving universal access goals.
This paper was written by Dhanaraj Thakur, Senior Research Manager at the Alliance for Affordable Internet, with inputs from members of the Women’s Rights Online Network.