In the age of digital technology flooding across the globe, making the Internet accessible right from plush urban cities to small rural towns, statistics still suggest the use of internet by women in India being as low as 30%(as of February, 2018). The gender disparity when it comes to the total internet users in India remains a major concern highlighting ineffectiveness on the internet system or unsolved issues that hold back a major chunk of female internet users in a developing nation like India.
Identifying the root causes and bridging this ‘digital gender gap’ is essential for overall growth of the developing countries. Possible cues to this gap indicate lack of availability of resources, poor infrastructure, poverty and high illiteracy rates. Surprisingly, data surveys in India (as per February 2018) suggest that non-working female internet users count upto 26% and working female users range about 9%.
The gender disparity when it comes to the total internet users in India remains a major concern highlighting ineffectiveness on the internet system or unsolved issues that hold back a major chunk of female internet users in a developing nation like India.
Research states that probable reasons of such low women engagement rates with the online spaces could be mainly because of the incapability of connection and expression, cultural barriers that discourage women to voice their opinions and the fear of online privacy and safety. In order to curb this disproportion of female internet users it is essential to focus not just on the economic factors, but social concerns as well that hinder the productive growth of online engagement by women in India.
Immense opportunities that a safe and secured Internet system holds for women in India are:
- As a medium of education, gaining knowledge on how things could be done or how things work.
- Socialising, interacting with people from a particular industry, domain that encourages growth and productivity of the users.
- Staying updated with trends, news and entertainment.
- Leveraging capabilities of the web to business needs to expand business reach.
- Research for utilitarian content in terms of documents, visuals or interactive forums.
- Enhance creativity skills by reading, blogging and writing poetry online.
- Accessible and convenient form of shopping products and services across the globe.
This blog is part of the Digital Trust Dialogues with Google. Views are the author’s own.