Olongapo Telecom & Information Technology

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Women comprise more than half of RP Internet users—UN study

By Erwin Lemuel Oliva, INQ7.net

WOMEN now represent more than half of Internet users in the Philippines, a recent United Nations study showed.

As a result, the Philippines has ranked third in the list of countries with the highest percentage of female users, the 2005 United Nations Global e-Government Readiness Report said.

The top two countries cited were the United States and Canada, followed by the Philippines, South Africa, Iceland, Thailand, Australia, Sweden, Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Croatia, Estonia, Russia, Zambia, Uganda, China, India, Poland, Belarus, Ethiopia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Senegal, Lithuania, and Jordan.

The study reached this conclusion despite the Philippines’ low Internet penetration (Internet users as a percentage of the total population) of 0.6 percent.

The study also reported a high percentage of professional women in the Philippines going online, which, it further revealed, was even higher than in US and Canada. This confirmed observations that countries with higher e-government readiness were more likely to promote gender equality, which includes access to the Internet.

In the same study, the Philippines ranked fourth in e-government readiness in South and Eastern Asia, behind South Korea, Singapore and Japan.

"Information technology is a tool for providing access for all. But for women who are often in the economically insecure, marginalized groups, it can be especially potent tool for economic and social advancement. Promoting gender access and inclusion to ICTs should be considered primarily an issue of opportunity since ICTs can help women enhance economic and social empowerment and greater political participation," the study said.

A typical Internet user in the developing world would be male, under 35 years old, urban-based, speaks English, has a university education and a high income. In short, a member of an elite minority, the study added.

Women represent about 50 percent of the world population.

Details of the study can be downloaded at


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