Advancing real access for women online – San Francisco

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WOUGNET this morning facilitated a session on “Real Access for Women Online – Connecting the next billions”. The session was facilitated by WOUGNET’s  Moses Owiny who shared 10 country research report on closing the gender gap in ICT policy and decision making  – a research that was commissioned with support from the web foundation. He shared in specific terms the case of Philippines and Uganda. Key issues emerging from Philippines  verses Uganda were varying.

The research study, designed to understand the gaps in and obstacles to women’s use of the Internet in the Philippines, shows that among the urban poor in Manila, women are using the Internet at more or less equal frequency and on equal terms with men. Of the respondents to the survey, 42 percent of women and 48 percent of men had used a computer with the previous six months, and more women (59 percent) than men (47 percent) own or have access to smart phones. More women than men use their mobile phones every day, and more women than men have used the Internet in the last six months. Most female Internet users  believe  the Internet is a valuable source of emotional support, and see it as a positive resource to help with school work and educational activities

Surveyed were 749 women and 251 men from urban poor communities in Metro Manil

In Uganda key issues emerging from the report included; affordability, stereotypical attitudes and cultural beliefs, lack of access to ICT infrastructure, content, language, disposable income of women, illiteracy rates of women compared to male counterparts etc- as impediments to women’s access.

Panellists noted the need to address costs, increase skills of women, address social norms including education and income for women. Further recommendation was to focus on areas of policy, education and affordability.

There was an active participation from the audience who shared insights and views on how to address real access for women.

Report by WOUGNET