As International Women’s Day is celebrated this week, a new report compiled by the Clinton Foundation together with the Gates Foundation, claims that access to the Internet is a key factor when it comes to improving women’s participation in educational, economic and societal opportunities.
The Full Participation Report is driven by a ‘big data’ approach to over 850,000 data points, collected over 20 years by the United Nations, The World Bank, and other organizations. Both the data itself, and the report are available to download at NoCeilings.org.
In an interview with Wired, Chelsea Clinton, Executive Vice-chair of the Clinton Foundation, highlighted the gender gap in Internet access, particularly in the developing world.
As use of technology has proliferated since 1995, a gender gap remains. An estimated 200 million fewer women than men are online in the developing world, and 300 million fewer women own a mobile phone.
This matters, explains the report, “because when women in the developing world get online, 30 percent report earning additional income, 45 percent report searching for jobs, and 80 percent report improving their education“, according to research.
The research suggests an opportunity for efforts to improve the status of women. “Ensuring access to technology and particularly mobile technology so those women can engage with platforms privately is a big focus of the work ahead”, said Clinton to Wired.