Global internet use quadrupled since 2005 but gender gap growing

The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has  said that the  number of people who are online has increased nearly fourfolds to 4.1 billion since 2005.

In a report on Tuesday,  ITU, however,  warned that women’s internet use was falling in several regions.

According to the report, the UN agency published on Tuesday in Geneva that Internet use has expanded to 54 per cent of the global population.

However, 3.6 billion people are still offline, especially in the least developed countries.

“It will require targeted efforts to lower the cost of broadband and innovative policies to finance network rollout to unconnected populations,’’ said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, who leads the ITU’s Telecommunication Development Unit.

The report also warned that the gap between the number of male and female internet users was growing in Africa, Arab countries and the Asia-Pacific region.

ITU added that higher mobile phone ownership rates among men were driving the divide, as handheld devices had become key tools for going online.

The ITU called for measures to increase mobile phone ownership among women and to develop people’s basic digital skills in the least developed countries.

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