Africa’s offline gender gap is getting repeated online
8 June 2018
Half the world will be online by the end of 2018, according to our estimates at the Web Foundation. This is an incredible milestone — but it also means that nearly four billion people across the globe are still offline, shut out from the digital revolution and the opportunities that many take for granted.
This digital divide mirrors and exacerbates inequalities that exist offline. So it’s no surprise that the majority of unconnected people are women and girls.
Connecting these women and girls is critical to closing the digital divide, and essential for boosting economic growth. Internet access allows women to gain a voice, seek information, or expand their networks beyond existing social boundaries.
Yet, African governments are failing to spend funds collected specifically to connect the unconnected.
The latest research by the Web Foundation, where I work to advocate digital equality, shows that across Africa, an estimated US$408 million of public funds earmarked to close the digital divide is sitting unused.