Women less likely to own mobile phones than men - report

Thursday November 7 2019

A woman  uses her mobile phone to surf the In

A woman uses her mobile phone to surf the Internet. The report - 2019 GSMA Mobile Gender Gap – indicates that there is an increase in the number of women owning phones, but fewer spend on mobile services. MONITOR PHOTO 

By CHRISTINE KASEMIIRE

There is a 10 per cent gender gap in ownership of mobile phones, tilted in favour of men against women, according to a report.
The report - 2019 GSMA Mobile Gender Gap – indicates that there is an increase in the number of women owning phones, but fewer spend on mobile services.

“The number of women who own a mobile has risen by over 250 million, with 80 per cent of women across now owning a mobile phone. The usage gap is also reflected in mobile spending. Across low- and middle-income countries, female mobile owners spend on average 17 per cent less than men on mobile services,” the report reads in part.

If mobile operators could close these gender gaps in low- and middle-income countries by 2023, the report says, this would provide an estimated additional $140b in revenue to the mobile industry over the next five years.

Mobile penetration in many African countries remains low with Uganda standing at only 23 per cent against 23m mobile subscribers, which implies that the few people that own phones hold multiple Simcards.

According to Mr Albert Mucunguzi, the chairman ICT Association of Uganda, the country’s digital economy is soaring albeit at a low pace because of numerous challenges including low digital skills.

“Cyber security, poor infrastructure and some government policies stifle growth of ICT in Uganda,” he said while announcing the upcoming Swarm Summit to be held this month.

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According to Teddy Ruge, the co-founder and director of Hive Colab, the Summit will unite the country’s top enterprises powering the emerging digital economy.

For the country to grow its digital economy, he urged the revamping of the education system to incorporate digital skills especially in the higher institutions.

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