The digital gender gap is growing fast in developing countries

Internet penetration rate for men and women, 2019*

Note: * ITU estimate. Penetration rates in this chart refer to the number of women/men that use the Internet, as a percentage of the respective total female/male population.

Source: ITU.

The Internet user gender gap (%), 2013 and 2019*

Note: * ITU estimate. The gender gap represents the difference between the Internet user penetration rates for males and females relative to the Internet user penetration rate for males, expressed as a percentage.

Source: ITU.

Proportion of Internet users, by gender, 2019*

Note: * ITU estimate. Penetration rates in this chart refer to the number of women/men that use the Internet, as a percentage of the respective total female/male population. The ratio is considered equal when the difference between the male and female Internet penetration rate is less than 2 percentage points.

Source: ITU

The proportion of women using the Internet globally is 48 per cent, compared to 58 per cent of men.


In relative terms, this means that the global Internet user gap is 17 per cent.

In all regions of the world, more men than women are using the Internet. The gap is small in developed countries and large in developing countries, especially LDCs.

The global gender gap has increased owing to the rapid growth in the number of male Internet users in developing countries.

Between 2013 and 2019, the gender gap hovered around zero in the Americas and has been shrinking in the CIS countries and Europe. However, in the Arab States, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa, the gender gap has been growing.

The proportion of women using the Internet is higher than that of men in only 8 per cent of countries, while gender equality in Internet use is found in just over one-quarter of countries.