Women and Gender in ICT Statistics and Indicators for Development

Nancy J. Hafkin, Sophia Huyer


Issues related to the gender digital divide have been prominent in discussions of the information society. However, the paucity of statistical data on the subject makes it difficult, if not impossible, to make the case for the inclusion of gender issues in ICT policies, plans, and strategies to policymakers, particularly those in developing countries. This paper surveys available gender ICT statistics and indicators and makes recommendations for filling the gaps that exist. Few gender ICT statistics are available because many governments do not collect ICT statistics consistently and regularly, and rarely are the data disaggregated by sex. The best practices are generally found in developed countries, with most developing countries lagging behind. Recent work that sheds light on women, gender, and the information society includes a major six-country study on the gender digital divide in francophone countries of West Africa and Orbicom's 2005 research on women in the information society. Although major composite ICT indices do not publish gender and ICT statistics, the potential remains for them to do so, and some indices encourage others to enrich their work with gender data.


Gender; Digital Divide; Information Society; Gender Issues; ICTs; ICT Policy; Information Society

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