The gap between men and women internet users could grow to 350 million in the next three years, the UN Broadband Commission said in its first global report on "Broadband and Gender" released on Saturday, a news agency reported. (Agencies)
The report titled "Doubling Digital Opportunities: Enhancing the Inclusion of Women & Girls in the Information Society" revealed a "significant and pervasive 'tech gap' in access to information and communication technologies (ICTs)".
The gap between male and female online users widens rapidly in the developing world, where expensive and "high status" ICTs like computers are often reserved for use by men, the report said.
In other findings, women worldwide are on average 21 percent less likely to own a mobile phone, representing a gender gap of 300 million, equating to USD 13 billion in potential missed revenues for the mobile sector.
The report brought together research from UN agencies, commission members and partners from industry, government and civil society, to create the first comprehensive global snapshot of broadband access by gender.
It was officially launched by Helen Clark, the administrator of the UN Development Programme (UNDP), who has led the working group since its establishment in New York in September last year.
The report also said that in developing countries, every 10 percent increase in access to broadband translated to a 1.38 percent growth in the gross domestic product (GDP).
This means that bringing an additional 600 million women and girls online could boost global GDP by as much as $18 billion.
The Broadband Commission Working Group on Gender was initially proposed in 2012 by Geena Davis, actress and special envoy of the International Telecommunication Union.
The gap between men and women internet users could grow to 350 million in the next three years, the UN Broadband Commission said in its first global report on "Broadband and Gender" released on Saturday, a news agency reported.