Kenya has 6pct gender gap in mobile phone ownership – GSMA Report

Microfinance in Kenya

Kenya has a 6% gender gap when it comes to mobile and mobile internet penetration with men at 90% and women at 82% a new report by GSM Association (GSMA) said on Wednesday.

The report also shows that the gender gap in mobile spending in Kenya is at 46%.

The awareness of mobile internet among men and women in Kenya stands at women 62% and men 78%.

“We are seeing significantly increased mobile access for women. However, in an increasingly connected world, women are still being left behind,” Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA, said in a statement.

Kenya has 6pct gender gap in mobile phone ownership

According to GSMA’s “2019 Mobile Gender Gap Report“, 26% of women in Kenya are aware of the Internet, and that it can be used on a mobile phone.

“While mobile connectivity is spreading quickly, it is not spreading equally. Unequal access to mobile technology threatens to exacerbate the inequalities women already experience,” Granryd added.

According to the report, closing the mobile gender gap in these markets represents a $140 billion commercial opportunity for the mobile industry over the next five years.

However, despite the growth in connectivity, the gender gap in mobile ownership is not closing.

“Women remain 10% less likely than men to own a mobile phone in low-and-middle-income countries and 23% less likely than men to use mobile Internet,” said the report.

Bill and Melinda Gates 2019 annual letter also said that “In rich countries, mobile phones make it easier to do things we were already doing—send email instead of snail mail, navigate the world without wrestling with a map, hail a ride without standing outside in the rain. But for the world’s most marginalized women, a mobile phone doesn’t just make their old life more convenient; it can help them build an entirely new life. That’s because connectivity is a solution to marginalization,” writes Melinda.

There are a lot of reasons why this gap exists. Cost, literacy (both digital and otherwise), and social norms are three of the big ones.