The world takes a small step towards digital gender parity

On a global scale, 69 per cent of men are using the Internet, compared with 63 per cent of women. This means there are 259 million more men than women using the Internet in 2022.

Gender parity is deemed achieved when the gender parity score, defined as the female percentage divided by the male percentage, stands between 0.98 and 1.02. Over the last three years, the world has been taking small steps towards gender parity, moving from 0.90 in 2019 to 0.92 in 2022. The gender parity score, however, only provides a partial picture, because it represents the ratio of two percentages. Measured by the absolute difference between the numbers of men and women online, the gender gap actually increased by 20 million. Furthermore, while women account for roughly half of the population, they account for a disproportionate – and increasing – share of the global offline population: women now outnumber male non-users by 18 per cent, up from 11 per cent in 2019.

Generally, the regions with the highest Internet use also have the highest gender parity scores. In the Americas, the CIS and Europe, gender parity has been achieved. Both the Asia-Pacific and the Arab States have improved their gender parity score, whereas Africa has stalled in the last three years.

LDCs and LLDCs show the same trends as Africa: low Internet use and a low gender parity score, with hardly any progress towards gender parity over the last three years.

The small island developing States (SIDS) are an exception to the correlation between low Internet use and a low gender parity score: while universal connectivity remains elusive, these islands reached full gender parity.