As the globe marks International Day of Girls in ICT, a new UNICEF report issued today has revealed that around 90% of adolescent girls and young women do not use the internet in low-income countries, while their male peers are twice as likely to be online.
According to the report, on average across 32 countries and territories, girls are 35% less likely than their male peers to have digital skills, including simple activities like copying or pasting files or folders, sending emails, or transferring files.
The report suggests that education and family environments play a critical role in the gender digital divide.
For example, even within the same home, girls are far less likely than boys to access mobile phones and be able to make full use of the internet and digital technologies.
The report attributes the trend to pervasive discriminatory gender norms and stereotypes, as well as concerns over online safety.
To close this gap, UNICEF Director of Education Robert Jenkins is calling for empowerment of girls to be innovators, creators, and leaders.