Reflections of a Digital Divide: Representations of Gender, Diversity, and Device Use in Mobile Network Marketing

Laghaei, Mahtab; Meltzer, Julia; Ondili, Mitchel
A4AI Discussion Paper Series 1:1. Alliance for Affordable Internet

The GSMA estimates around 234 million fewer women in low- and middle-income countries use the mobile internet than men (GSMA, 2021). Throughout much of the world, gender discrimination discourages and sometimes forbids information and communication technologies (ICTs) use by women and non-binary individuals.

This report summarises our investigation of representations of gender and diversity on the front pages of the websites from mobile network operators around the world and considers their impact to influence the digital gender gap. Overall, women’s representations on these websites offers an example of hope – where gender discrimination does not impede women’s use of ICTs – however, other shortcomings, within regions and across intersections of ethnicity, age, and ability, are apparent.