Helen Clark Tackles Digital Discrimination
Digital gender inequality – women’s access to technology is less than men’s – is being tackled by the United Nations in a new report unveiled by Helen Clark, administrator of the UN Development Programme. The former New Zealand Prime Minister launched the report, which shows a pervasive gender gap in access to internet and telecommunications services in developing countries.
Although digital inequality in OECD nations is small, ICT discrimination in the developing world is pervasive, as high-status items such as smart phones and computers are often reserved for men.
Globally, 200 million more men than women are internet users. But in sub-Saharan Africa, the number of women who are connected is half the number of men. Women are also, on average, 21% less likely to own a mobile phone, smart or otherwise.
Clark’s report, Doubling Digital Opportunities: Enhancing the Inclusion of Women and Girls in the Information Society, seeks to improve the social and economic wellbeing of women by highlighting the issue and providing impetus to countries to specifically address the inequality.