FILE PHOTO: A Pakistani woman takes a selfie with her family from her smartphone at a tourist place in Lahore. (ARIF ALI/AFP via Getty Images)
PAKISTAN has the highest male-female gap in terms of mobile phone set ownership among 15 countries, said a report by the GSMA, an organisation representing the interests of mobile operators worldwide.
In Pakistan, 81 per cent males owned mobile sets compared to 50 per cent females.
Besides, 37 per cent Pakistani males have access to mobile internet against 19 per cent females
The report said that only Brazil had the negative male-female mobile phone ownership and mobile internet use, where 84 per cent adult males owned a mobile phone compared to 85 per cent female adult population.
The ‘Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020’ is based on the annual GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey of 2019 belonging to 15 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), and had over 16,000 respondents.
The base of the consumer survey is the total population aged 18 years and above, and a mobile phone owner is defined as a person who has sole or main use of a SIM card or a mobile phone that does not require a SIM and uses it at least once a month.
The report highlighted that the industry is renewing its commitment to reaching women with digital and financial services to address the persistent mobile gender gap.
According to the report, mobile internet gender gap has narrowed from 44 per cent in 2017 to 54 per cent now.
However, the gender gap in mobile ownership remains largely unchanged and 165 million fewer women than men own a mobile.
Of all surveyed countries, Mozambique has the lowest level of mobile phone ownership, with only 46pc of women and 56pc of men own mobile sets.
The report highlighted that lack of family approval was a major impediment for women in many countries, including Pakistan, Bangladesh and Algeria, to own mobile sets and use mobile- based internet.
The findings of ‘Mobile Gender Gap Report 2020’ are sourced from the annual GSMA Intelligence Consumer Survey 2019, from 15 countries.