'90% of Young Women in Developing Countries Lack Internet Access'
Around 90% of adolescent girls and young women do not use the internet in low-income countries, while their male peers are twice as likely to be online, according to a new UNICEF analysis issued on the International Day of Girls in ICT.
The report titled "Bridging the Digital Divide: Challenges and an Urgent Call for Action for Equitable Digital Skills Development" highlights that girls are being left behind in the digital world and are the least likely to have the opportunities to develop the skills needed for 21st-century learning and employment.
The root barriers are far deeper than a lack of access to the internet, according to the report. The findings suggest that educational and family environments play a critical role in the gender digital divide. For example, even within the same home, girls are far less likely than boys to access and be able to make full use of the internet and digital technologies. Among 41 countries and territories included in the analysis, households are much more likely to provide mobile phones for boys than girls.
UNICEF is calling on governments and partners to teach digital skills equally to girls and boys in and out of school, protect girls' safety online, and promote girls' access to peer learning, mentoring, internships, and job shadowing in the digital/STEM world.
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