Po­ten­tial of gender-spe­cific di­git­al­isa­tion

The digital revolution simultaneously represents one of the greatest opportunities and greatest threats to gender equality. There is currently unequal access to the internet and mobile devices. Worldwide, 300 million fewer women than men have access to the mobile internet. x

Gender ste­reo­typ­ical ef­fects on di­git­iz­a­tion

Gender stereotyping also has a profound impact on the digitalisation of finance:

  • Worldwide, women are systemically under-represented in financial technology professions and in the ICT and MINT sectors.
  • Women need to be involved in decision-making processes here so that their knowledge and views can contribute to the development of new products for sustainable development
  • Gender-based violence is a further obstacle to women's involvement and participation in the internet and in all areas of the digital world. Such violence is also taking place and being spread via the internet.
  • Men
  • Women

On average, women in low and middle income countries own 20 per cent fewer smartphones than men. The risk therefore exists that women will be increasingly excluded from digital methods of financial inclusion, as well as from internet job opportunities, online training and networking opportunities.

Op­por­tun­it­ies & chances

However, access to the internet also offers women around the world new opportunities to find and use information, networks, support, decent jobs and financial products and services that meet their needs. For women who, due to social or cultural norms, are unable to easily travel to the next major town or city to open a bank account, digital options provide previously unavailable opportunities.

Why ac­cess to the in­ter­net is un­equal

300 million fewer women than men worldwide have access to the mobile internet.footnote One reason is that women and girls have relatively less access to mobile devices due to gender-specific role models within families. Moreover, gender inequalities mean women, more often than men, lack the financial resources to afford internet access. Such gender inequalities include women being paid less than men for the same work.


  1. Source: GSMA (2020) The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020, p.2 (opens in a new window)
  2. Source: GSMA (2020) The Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020, p.2 (opens in a new window)