There are three men for every woman in Facebook in India. And the women know this, being bombarded by messages ranging from the mildly flirtatious to the downright offensive.
The male bias in India’s social economy is starkly visible on social media, pointing to the existence of gender disparity even in the virtual world. According to a report by the Singapore-based analytics firm We Are Social, only 24 percent of Facebook users in India are women.
Considering that 76% of women who use the internet globally are on Facebook, compared to 72% of men, this skewed ratio illustrates the cultural, social, and technological barriers that Indian women face.
One might have expected that social media users, representing a more privileged section of society, would not have faced as strong a gender bias as in the offline world, but that is clearly not the case.
In 2016, India had the world’s second largest smartphone market. However, a report by global mobile industry monitor, GSM Association, says that Indian women are more likely to borrow phones from friends and family than own their own device. Sadly, 81 percent of women in India have never even accessed the internet on their phones. Addressing this issue involves taking on technological, cultural and social norms in India to dismantle the gender disparity.