New Delhi: The AfterAccess surveys on access to and use of ICTs, which included an India component, were declared global winner of the EQUALSinTech research category awards.
“We are honored to have our work recognized by the EQUALS Global Partnership,” said lead AfterAccess researcher for Asia, Helani Galpaya, CEO of regional ICT policy think-tank LIRNEasia.
“DoT has taken our findings seriously and is acting on addressing the gender gap following the release of our report in New Delhi in August. We hope that industry and other bodies will follow that example and use this data to inform their policies and procedures towards reducing the gender gap in access to and use of ICTs in India,” added Helani.
AfterAccess is a series of nationally-representative surveys conducted via 38,005 interviews of households and individuals in 18 countries (with more being added) in the Global South. The research covers key issues related to access and use of mobile phones and the Internet using methodology that is comparable across the countries.
The key findings from the report with respect to the gender gap in India are as follows:
• Gender gap in mobile phone ownership is the highest among the 18 countries; women in India are 46% less likely to own a mobile than men (15- 65 group)
• Gender gap in device type is not as large as in mobile ownership
• Gender divide in Internet use (57%) is even higher than mobile ownership; 26% of males in the 15-65 group use the Internet versus 11% of females
• High gender gap (60%) in social media use in: 22% of males in the 15-65 group use social media versus 9% of females
Closing this gap would disproportionately help women and the global economy. Digital inclusion of women can catalyze development benefits by empowering them to pursue new professions, access critical government and private services, and become more aware citizens.
Furthermore, research shows that women’s digital inclusion can also help to catalyze developmental benefits to not only women themselves, but also to their broader communities.
“It is possible to act on this data and develop policies. I am pleased that we have a baseline for the first time ever,” Special Secretary for Department of Telecom, Sivasailam said at the release event.
The EQUALS Global Partnership (equals.org) is a global network working toward bridging the digital gender gap by bring women to tech and tech to women. Founding partners include United Nations University, International Telecommunications Union, UN Women, GSM Association and International Trade Center.
The EQUALSinTech Award is the annual flagship event of the partnership, which recognizes “outstanding projects and initiatives around the world that are helping women and girls become EQUALSinTech”. AfterAccess was one of 22 finalists in four award categories (Access, Leadership, Skills, Research) selected from over 350 nominees across the globe.