Report calls for doubling the number of women and girls in developing countries
who are online to 1.2 billion in 3 years
Intel Corporation released a groundbreaking report on "Women and the Web,"
unveiling concrete data on the enormous Internet gender gap in the developing
world and the social and economic benefits of securing Internet access for
women. To better understand the gender gap, Intel commissioned this study and
consulted with the U.S. State Department`s Office of Global Women`s Issues, UN
Women and World Pulse, a global network for women. The report issues a call to
action to double the number of women and girls online in developing countries
from 600 million today to 1.2 billion in 3 years.
On average, across the developing world nearly 25 percent fewer women than men
have access to the Internet, and the gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in
regions such as sub-Saharan Africa, according to the report. Further, the study
found that one in five women in India and Egypt believes the Internet is not
appropriate for them.
"This study demonstrates the enormity of the global Internet gender gap and more
importantly, identifies specific ways the public, private and civil society
sectors can work together to dramatically increase Internet access for women and
girls," said Shelly Esque, vice president of Intel's Corporate Affairs Group and
president of the Intel Foundation. "Intel has worked for decades to improve
education around the world. If we can empower women and girls with the tools,
resources and opportunities they need to succeed, we will transform their lives
and the lives of everyone they touch."
Seeing another 600 million women online would mean that 40 percent of women and
girls in developing countries -- nearly double the share today -- would have
access to the transformative power of the Internet. This goal, if realized,
could potentially contribute an estimated US $13 billion to $18 billion to
annual GDP across 144 developing countries.
"With the powerful capabilities the Internet enables -- to connect, to learn, to
engage, to increase productivity, and to find opportunities -- women`s lack of
access is giving rise to a second digital divide, one where women and girls risk
being left further and further behind." said Melanne Verveer,
ambassador-at-large for Global Women`s Issues at the U.S. Department of
State."My hope is that this report will catalyze action to close the Internet
gender gap. This will require knowledge, leadership, determination and
collaboration among governments, public institutions, corporations, and civil
society to tackle the wide range of gender-specific barriers to Internet
"There is wide acknowledgement around the globe that women`s empowerment is a
basic issue of social and economic justice and also essential to wider social
progress and sustainable development," said Michelle Bachelet,
under-secretary-general and executive director, UN Women. "This report
demonstrates that expanding access to the Internet and technology for women and
girls is critical to their improved education, increased opportunity and ability
to foster entrepreneurship in countries around the world."
The report`s findings are based on interviews and surveys of 2,200 women and
girls living in urban and peri-urban areas of four focus countries: Egypt,
India, Mexico and Uganda, as well as analyses of global databases. The findings
were unveiled during a panel discussion today in Washington, D.C. as part of the
2-day international working forum on women, ICT (Information and Communication
Technologies) and development hosted by the State Department and UN Women.
Support for the study is part of Intel`s commitment to bridge this gender gap
and empower people through innovation and education.
Through access to technology, scholarships and community learning programs,
Intel provides girls and women with opportunities for quality education and
personal growth. Intel's programs equip women with access to information needed
Key highlights from the report:
* Gender barriers are real. One in five women in India and Egypt believes the
Internet is not "appropriate" for them. On average across the developing world,
nearly 25 percent fewer women than men have access to the Internet, and the
gender gap soars to nearly 45 percent in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa.
* Bridging the Internet gender gap:
* Boosts women`s income and income potential. Across the surveyed countries,
nearly half of respondents used the Web to search for and apply for a job, and
30 percent had used the Internet to earn additional income.
* Increases women`s sense of empowerment. More than 70 percent of Internet users
considered the Internet "liberating" and 85 percent said it "provides more
* Enabling Internet access for more women and girls in developing countries
promises immediate, and immense, benefits. Seeing another 600 million women
online would mean that 40 percent of women and girls in developing countries,
nearly double the share today, would have access to the transformative power of
the Internet. And, it could potentially contribute an estimated US$13 billion to
$18 billion to annual GDP across 144 developing countries.
The full report can be viewed at
About Intel's Girls and Women Commitment
Today, millions of girls around the world have little or no access to education.
Intel believes that education should be a fundamental right for everyone and
recognizes the major role technology plays in improving both the quality of and
access to education. Through access to technology, scholarships and community
learning programs, Intel provides girls and women with opportunities for quality
education and personal growth.
Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) is a world leader in computing innovation. The company
designs and builds the essential technologies that serve as the foundation for
the world's computing devices. Additional information about Intel is available
at newsroom.intel.com and blogs.intel.com.
Lisa Malloy, 202-626-4397
Copyright Business Wire 2013