The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2021

Women’s access to mobile internet continues to increase across low- and middle-income countries with 112 million additional female users getting online in 2020. Despite this, the gender gap remains substantial. Women are 7% less likely than men to own a mobile phone and 15% less likely to use mobile internet. There are still 234 million fewer women than men accessing mobile internet. With the COVID-19 pandemic evolving across the world, there has never been a more urgent time to address this issue.

The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2021 highlights how the mobile gender gap continues to improve in South Asia, but less so in other regions. It explores the key barriers preventing women’s equal access to mobile internet as well as the rise of women’s smartphone ownership, notably in India.

Findings from this report are based on results from over 9,000 face-to-face surveys across eight low- and middle-income countries, and subsequent modelling and analysis of this survey data. This year, additional qualitative research was conducted in India and Kenya to develop a more nuanced understanding of women’s access to and use of mobile internet, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The core data from this survey is available on request. Please email

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