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Only 25% of Daily Internet Users in Rural India Are Women

The gap in urban areas was less pronounced

The gender divide among internet users in rural India is quite stark. According to a March 2017 report from Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Kantar IMRB, women made up just 25% of daily internet users in rural India in 2016.

Internet User Share in Urban vs. Rural India, by Gender, 2016 (% of total)

That gap was much less pronounced in urban areas, where women accounted for 40% of daily internet users. Women with jobs accounted for 7% of daily internet users in rural areas, compared with 8% in cities. Meanwhile, women without jobs made up 15% of daily internet users in cities, but that figure was just 10% in rural parts of the country.

The pattern of lower technology adoption rates by women in India can also be seen in other ways. In July 2016, GSMA reported that men were 25% more likely than women to own a SIM card, and 62% more likely to use the internet.

Overall, internet penetration rates in rural areas still trailed those in cities by a significant margin. IAMAI/Kantar IMRB reported that 59% of urban dwellers were internet users, compared with just 17% of those in rural environments.

eMarketer estimates there will be 429.2 million internet users in India this year, representing 33.5% of the population.

Ben Clague

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