By BBC Africa
A new report from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) warns of a growing gender gap in internet access in Africa, with women increasingly having significantly less access to the internet than men.
It says that 33.8% of men use the internet compared to 22.6% of women in Africa. And the difference between male and female use has increased since 2013, the ITU adds.
There are worrying consequences for women, says Susan Teltscher of the International Telecommunications Union.
“They don’t have access to any of the information that is available on the internet, they don’t have access to the many applications that are available through smartphones which can help them in communication, in having access to education, to health, to government services.”
“This has, of course, major consequences because they are basically excluded from an increasingly digital world. Women already have less access to education than men, earn less, and are less represented in senior management and government positions.”
The report warns that the digital gender gap could perpetuate or even exacerbate those long-standing inequalities.
It calls for governments to invest in digital skills training for women, and for more affordable mobile technology such as smartphones.