Women and girls account for only 29% of India’s internet users making them even more vulnerable to marginalisation, the State of the World’s Children Report 2017: Children in a Digital World said. The study conducted by the United Nations Childrens Fund observed that many children in the country’s rural areas face restrictions because of the gender.
“One village governing body in rural Rajasthan stated that girls were not to use mobile phones or social media,” the report said. “Another village in Uttar Pradesh banned unmarried girls from using mobile phones.”
The document stressed the need for identifying the gaps in accessibility to information and communication technologies. “Connectivity may deepen inequity, reinforcing intergenerational cycles of deprivation ,” the report said if the gaps are not closed.
Digital divides reflect broader socio-economic divides – between rich and poor, men and women, cities and rural areas, and between those with education and those without, the global report said.