Wednesday, 27 January 2016

8 Economic Barriers Responsible for India’s Gender Digital Divide

The mobile phone is one of the most widely used information and communication technologies in the developing world. For instance, in India, as of December 2013, there were more than 900 million mobile phone subscribers (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, 2014). However, in the male-dominated Indian society with 940 females per 1,000 males, only 30% of mobile phone owners were female, which indicates the presence of a gender digital divide in the country.

In Inequalities creating economic barriers to owning mobile phones in India Factors responsible for the gender digital divide, Devendra Potnis, assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, investigated the factors responsible for the inability of 245 female slum-dwellers in India, who earn around $2 a day, to own a mobile phone. More than 90% of the respondents experienced more than two economic barriers discussed below, which prevented them from owning some of the least expensive mobile phones worth $15 or so on installments of $1 a month.
  1. Fluctuating low personal income
  2. Low personal savings
  3. Lack of financial support from husbands
  4. Cost of owning and maintaining a mobile phone
  5. Low household income
  6. Majority of financial dependents in family
  7. Unexpected and unforeseen family expenses
  8. Inherited debt
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