Where Are The Women On The Net?
A recent report by We Are Social, a consultancy firm of the UK, has found out that in India, there are three men on social media for every woman. Social media giant Facebook comprises 76% men and only 24% women. India being one of the largest emerging economies in the world, such ratio is poor for the country as neighbours like Nepal and Bhutan have a better ratio when it comes to the percentage of women on social media.
During a panel discussion at the Online Safety Summit, organized by SheThePeople.TV, Ranjana Kumari of CSR said, “That kind of watch on the lives of women is not necessary I believe and should be stopped. Rather, people should empower women to come to the online space and have their voices heard.”
Need To Bring Rural Women Online
Prasanto Roy of Nasscom stressed upon bringing the women of rural India online and said that’s how the percentage will grow. “Both the public and the private sector should gear up and the government should take a step back from service delivery and open up an enabling environment where the private sector can step in.”
“The whole access problem in rural villages is one of the most frequently asked questions and the government’s answer is Bharat Net. They say ‘we have got fibre all over the place’ while it’s actually there in 20,000 gram panchayats. And we want to go to over 200,000 villages. But that actually does not translate into more women to use that service, so you have to bring in the private sector. And incidentally, the only big scale initiative that has happened is with JIO giving away enormous amounts of free data and that suddenly enabled a whole host of local vendors, domestic help etc to start using mobile data,” Roy explained.
“And this is a massive example of what private sector intervention can do to improve gender ratio in the digital space,” he added.
Mentoring and the art of marketing are also a few things women need to learn to do in the online space to build their network and also bring in more numbers in the digital space.