Survey on use of Internet and Cell Phones for women and men in Uganda

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Limiting women’s access denies them the tools, resources and opportunities available through the Internet, which in turn slows economic growth and social development opportunities. More than 70 % of Internet users surveyed for Intel’s 2013 Women and the Web study consider the Internet “liberating”, and 85 % believe that it “provides more freedom”. Access to the Internet has personal, social and market benefits.

In March 2015 – For most people, the Internet is now part of everyday life. On average, about 80% of adults and 95% of 16-24-years-olds in the OECD use the Internet, most of them on a daily basis. In 2005, only 55% of women and 61% men in Uganda were Internet users while these ratios have now reached 80% and 82% respectively.

Among the UCC’s statutory, the digital divide is unfortunately being defined along urban–rural lines, whereas, 85 % of the population lives in rural areas, 80 % of the Internet users in Uganda are urban residents. Despite the efforts, only 21% of women and girls in developing countries have access to the Internet.
Almost 60% of the Uganda’s population is offline. Close to 70% of households in Uganda do not have Internet access, and while Internet penetration rates have increased dramatically in recent years, the pace of change seems to be slowing. The cost of fixed broadband remains about 40% of an average citizen’s monthly income, while the price for an entry-level mobile broadband package hovers at just above 10% of monthly incomes.

Women are far less likely to be able to access the Internet affordably than men. Research has shown that women on average earn 30% – 50% less than men this diminishes the ability of women to afford, adopt, and benefit from broadband access. The Internet access gender gap is apparent and 30% fewer women than men access the Internet up to 45%. The gap widens in rural areas, for example, it was found that men’s access to the Internet outnumbers women’s access by 50%. Women are 23% less likely than men to own a cell phone.
A simple analysis of the gender pay gap and its impact on women’s ability to afford Internet services clearly illustrates that the price of entry-level mobile broadband service is significantly higher for women worldwide. For example, entry-level mobile broadband costs at least 18.2% women’s GNI per capita and 26.0% as % of GNI p.c. adjusted for gender gap at 30% lower incomes among the Ugandan population.

“The gendered analysis of Face book likes is getting changed. Last month, women 49% and men 50% were showed, but now it shows women 46% and men 54% which indicates more men paying attention to women issues or support WOUGNET activity than women”. In the same month, WOUGNET recorded 4,449Tweets and 2,339 Followers among which 49% were female.

To determine the ratio between male and female users on social sites 84% (16 /19) of the sites was used and found to have more female than male users. Several observations included:- The social news sites have significantly more male users than female to new heights with 82% usage; Twitter and Face book have almost the same male-female ratio; Twitter with 59% female users and Face book with 57%; and an average ratio of all 19 sites was 47% male, 53% female.

GENDER EQUALITY  RESEARCH 2015.

COMPILED BY IRENE MURUNGI