What is the Digital Gender Divide?

Technology is revolutionizing the world by providing tools for entrepreneurship, access to critical health and education, as well as life-enhancing information, yet women increasingly have limited access to technology, resulting in a digital gender divide.

Today, 1.7 billion women in low- and middle-income countries still do not own mobile phones, and the gap between the number of men and women using the internet has grown steadily over the past three years.

The persistent digital gender divide is reinforcing or even exacerbating existing socioeconomic gaps between men and women. By reducing this divide, women and girls will have access to life-enhancing information, networks, and services, reducing poverty and driving inclusive economic growth.

Bridging the Digital Gender Divide

Women of Takalafiya-Lapai village (Niger State) are beneficiaries of Nigeria's Fadama II project.
Women of Takalafiya-Lapai village (Niger State) are beneficiaries of Nigeria’s Fadama II project. / Photo: Arne Hoel / World Bank

The WomenConnect Challenge is a global call for solutions to improve women’s participation in everyday life by meaningfully changing the ways women and girls access and use technology. We are looking to identify and accelerate comprehensive solutions that empower women and girls to access and use digital technology to drive positive health, education, and livelihoods outcomes for themselves and their families.

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