Women’s Rights Online (WRO)

Closing the growing gender digital divide is critical to reducing inequality and achieving a wide range of global development goals. Women’s exclusion from the digital revolution is primarily due to policy failure, and the good news is that policy failure can be reversed. Putting the right policies into place can go a long ways toward enabling women’s access to and empowerment through the web. Progress toward gender equality online must be grounded in solutions that are led and owned by local stakeholders and respond to local realities.

Learn more about:

The WRO network members and their work

Policy needed to close the digital gender gap

WRO original research


Women’s Rights Online (WRO) is a research and advocacy network that aims to drive women’s empowerment through the web. The network is an initiative of the Web Foundation, and currently comprises women’s rights and digital rights groups across 14 developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, working to bridge the gender gap in technology, data, and policymaking.

Using a blend of fresh research, policy advocacy, and storytelling, our work focuses on reforming policy and regulation so that everyone, everywhere can i) afford to connect and ii) have the skills and opportunities to participate in the digital revolution privately and freely.

Learn more about the WRO network organisations and the work they’re doing to close the digital gender gap and advance women’s rights online.


Urgent action is needed to bridge the gender gap in technology, data, and policy-making. We’re calling on countries to REACT — that is, to focus on Rights, Education, Access, Content, and Targets — to close the gender digital divide.

Learn more about the policies needed to REACT.


Our policy work is driven by data, and is grounded in empirical research — both our own, and that of our partner and peer organisations.

Women’s Rights Online: Translating Access Into Empowerment (2015)

This study explores the real extent of the gender digital divide in nine cities across nine developing countries, in order to gain a better understanding of the empowering potential of ICTs as a weapon against poverty and gender inequality, and the barriers that must be overcome to unlock it.

Women’s Rights Online Digital Gender Gap Audit (2016)

The inaugural Digital Gender Gap Audit assesses the policy efforts and progress made in 10 countries around the main challenges identified through our earlier research Women’s Rights Online research.

Advancing Women’s Rights Online: Gaps and Opportunities in Research and Advocacy (2018)

This short report looks at the data and research we need — but are missing — to meaningfully monitor progress toward improving women’s internet access and use.

Women’s Rights Online: closing the digital gender gap for a more equal world (2020)

This report provides a global snapshot of the state of digital gender inequality and illustrates the barriers that women face in accessing and using the internet.