Women in Ghana closing the gender gap in internet access – but still miss out on benefits of digital technology

Women in Ghana closing the gender gap in internet access – but still miss out on benefits of digital technology

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print

Women in Ghana closing the gender gap in internet access – but still miss out on benefits of digital technology

ACCRA, Ghana, October 12, 2020, -/African Media Agency (AMA)/- Almost as many women as men use the internet in Ghana, according to a new survey from the World Wide Web Foundation, which finds men are just 6% more likely to be online than women.

This is in sharp contrast to the large gender gap found globally where men are 21% more likely to be online than women, rising to 52% in the world’s least developed countries. In Uganda, which also featured in the study, men were 43% more likely to be online than women.

The survey shows that Ghana has made significant progress towards closing the gender gap in internet access, with 29% of women now online, up from fewer than 20% in 2016, according to a previous report from the Web Foundation and the Media Foundation for West Africa. 

However, the report warns that women using the internet in Ghana still experience a lower quality of connection to men, preventing them from fully benefiting from digital technology. Ghana has a 14% gender gap in ‘meaningful connectivity‘, a measure based on whether users have fast speeds, enough data, a suitable device and regular access to the internet.

Women surveyed were around half as likely as men to say they had internet speeds sufficient to meet their online needs. And, on average, they had smaller data bundles, with 75% of women limited to 1GB data or less per month, compared with just 58% of men.

Slow speeds and limited data severely constrain how people use the internet, particularly for high-bandwidth applications needed to work and learn from home which, during the COVID-19 crisis, have become more important than ever.

Chenai Chair, Web Foundation Research Manager for Gender and Digital Rights said: “Getting basic internet access is just the first step. To participate in digital society you need an affordable quality connection, you need the digital skills to use the internet and you need to feel safe online. While Ghana has seen important progress, it is still the case that women here – and around the world – face a multitude of barriers preventing them from realising the internet’s full benefits”.

A lack of digital skills presents a significant barrier to online participation. 43% of women living in urban areas who are not online said they do not use the internet because they do not know how, compared with just 27% of men in urban areas.

The report warns that exclusion of women from digital society is a threat to progress on gender equality and denies women opportunities to improve their lives: “The internet is one of the most empowering technologies the world has ever seen, but unless women are equally able to benefit from it, the gender divide risks driving further inequality.”

Full participation in the digital world is important not only for individual rights and empowerment, but also as a driver of economic growth and prosperity. By closing the digital divide, according to the report, governments can help bolster economic growth: “Inclusive economies are stronger economies, and inclusive digital development will be critical as countries look to bounce back from the Covid-19 crisis.”

The survey found fewer than 1-in-3 people in Ghana are online. As the government pushes forward with its digital inclusion agenda, in order for all citizens to contribute to the digital economy, it must target gender inequalities.

Vivian Affoah, Programme Manager for Freedom of Expression and Digital Rights at the Media Foundation for West Africa, which works to tackle digital gender inequalities in Ghana, said: “This digital gender divide doesn’t just hurt women, it’s a problem for everyone in Ghana. When women can fully participate, economies prosper, opportunities increase and we all benefit. If the government wants to build a vibrant digital economy where everyone can contribute, it must put in place measures that ensure women can use the internet effectively.”

The survey found that when women are online, they are less likely to engage in certain kinds of activities. Men, for example, are over 29% more likely to advertise or sell products and services online.

They are also almost 24% more likely to post comments about social, economic and political issues, suggesting women are less able to participate in online debate.

One research participant indicated that gender norms contribute as a barrier to this participation: “You being online and you being vocal about issues that are really important, and people think you shouldn’t be talking that way…So it’s the heckling and the insult and they will not insult the content but they will insult you as a person. Whereas if it was a man that made the same post, the approach would be totally different.”

This report calls for governments and companies to commit to tackling the digital gender divide in all its forms. This means investing in digital skills for women and girls, actively supporting women leaders in technology, and adopting targets to connect everyone to high-quality internet, with a specific focus on connecting women.

Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of World Wide Web Foundation.

Editors notes:

  1. For more information or to request an interview, email press@webfoundation.org
  2. The full report is available here.
  3. The global report is based on nationally representative surveys and interviews conducted in Uganda, Ghana, Colombia and Indonesia. 2300 respondents answered the survey in Ghana. Individual country reports will follow.
  4. The report is an initiative of the Women’s Rights Online network

About the World Wide Web Foundation
Established by web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Rosemary Leith, the Web Foundation fights for the web we want. Using world-class research, policy advocacy and campaigning, we’re working around the world for a web that is safe and empowering for everyone | www.webfoundation.org

About the Women’s Rights Online network
Women’s Rights Online (WRO) is a research and advocacy network that aims to drive women’s empowerment through the web. The network is an initiative of the Web Foundation, and currently comprises women’s rights and digital rights groups across 14 developing countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, working to bridge the gender gap in technology, data, and policymaking.

You might also enjoy

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get updates and learn from the best

Become our partner

want more info, fill in this form.

Conférence de Presse en Ligne

Les frontières terrestres ne doivent pas constituer des obstacles à la dissémination de votre message. Grâce à notre service de conférence de presse en ligne, nous vous offrons l’opportunité de vous rapprocher des médias africains, chaque fois que vous en aurez besoin.

Nos services comprennent:

Digital Communications

Today, social networks constitute an organization’s first point of contact with a user and a potential customer. At first glance, you need to convince of the relevance and quality of your content to stimulate and motivate the user to go further. We create consistently inspiring online strategy to meet business objectives, engage stakeholders and enhance our client brand’s reputation internally and externally.


Communication​ digitale

Les réseaux sociaux représentent aujourd’hui le premier point de contact d’une organisation avec un utilisateur et un client potentiel. Au premier coup d’œil, vous devez le convaincre de la pertinence et de la qualité de votre contenu pour l’inciter à aller plus loin. Nous créons pour vous une stratégie de communication précise et adaptée sur les réseaux sociaux pour atteindre les objectifs commerciaux, impliquer les parties prenantes et améliorer la réputation de votre marque en interne et en externe.

Promotion​ d’événements

Le succès d’un événement réside en moitié dans sa promotion. Peu importe la beauté de l’événement, la qualité des orateurs et de l’ordre du jour, si personne ne rapporte ou ne parle de votre événement, vos efforts seront vains. Nous vous aidons à façonner votre récit et à créer un engouement autour de votre événement. De l’annonce de l’événement à la tenue de celui-ci, nous accompagnons votre effort de planification et le reflétons sur toutes les plateformes médiatiques.​

Formation​ Médiatique

Nous fournissons à vos porte-paroles les outils nécessaires pour présenter vos principaux messages et répondre avec confiance et cohérence aux questions. Notre formation est organisée soit à distance ou en présentiel, avec des études de cas réels et des répétitions. Nos clients repartent avec le sentiment d’être à l’aise devant les journalistes et d’agir en tant qu’ambassadeurs de la marque.

Veille​ Médiatique

Nous mesurons votre portée en relations publiques et rendons compte des informations de votre industrie et des activités de vos  concurrents en surveillant la majorité des canaux de diffusion dans toute l’Afrique. Une veille médiatique complète et opportune est essentielle pour s’assurer que vous ne manquez aucune référence à votre marque, que vous êtes constamment informé de ce qui se passe dans votre industrie et que vous êtes prêt à saisir les opportunités et à réduire les risques en temps opportun.

Relations​ Média

Peu importe le lieu où ils se trouvent, nous sommes une source d‘informations fiables pour les journalistes qui écrivent sur l’Afrique. Nous nous connaissons mutuellement et ils nous font confiance, car nous leur fournissons un contenu crédible qui les aide dans leurs tâches. Nous nous entretenons quotidiennement avec des journalistes aux quatre coins du continent, ce qui fait de nous l’un des organismes les plus efficaces pour mener des campagnes de relations avec les médias.

Stratégie et développement de contenu

Nous créons des stratégies de communication intelligentes, bien documentées et spécialisées destinées à vous aider à construire un récit fort qui engagera votre audience. Nous travaillons en synergie avec vous afin de rédiger des communiqués de presse et des articles d’opinions qui alimentent le récit de votre entreprise. Notre équipe a une expérience approfondie dans la création de récits et le développement de contenu multimédia.


C’est le service phare d’AMA. Nous avons mis en place des canaux de diffusion des communiqués de presse auprès des journalistes des 54 États africains ainsi qu’auprès des journalistes américains et européens couvrant les sujets relatifs aux marchés émergents.​

​Nos services comprennent:​

Event Promotion

Half of the success of an event lays in its promotion. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the event is, how wonderful the speakers and the agenda are, if no one reports or talks about your event, your efforts are gone. We help you shape the narrative and create a drumbeat around your event. From the announce all the way to the outcome of the event, we accompany your planning effort and echo it through all media platforms

Media Training

We provide your spokespeople with the tools to present your key messages and answer questions with confidence and coherence. Our training is organised either remotely or face-to- face, with real case studies and rehearsals. Our clients leave feeling comfortable being in front of reporters and acting as brand ambassadors.

Media Monitoring

We measure and report on
your PR reach, industry news, and competitive activity by monitoring most channels in North, West, Central, East and Southern Africa. Comprehensive and timely media monitoring is critical to ensuring that you don’t miss any reporting of your brand,
you’re constantly informed on what’s going on around your business, and you’re ready to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate
risks in a timely fashion..

Media Relations

We have become an authoritative source of news for reporters writing about Africa, wherever they are. We know them, they know us, and they trust us for providing them with timely and accurate content that helps them do their job. We speak to reporters on a daily basis in all corners of the continent and this makes us one of the most effective agencies in running media relations campaigns.

Strategy & Content Development

We create smart and localised communications strategies to help build a strong narrative that will engage your audiences. We partner with you to create press releases and thought leadership pieces that sustain a drumbeat for your company’s narrative. Our team have deep experience in shaping narratives and developing media content.


This is AMA’s flagship service. We have set up channels of distribution towards the journalists of the 54 African states, as well as to American journalists and European journalists covering emerging markets issues.
Our service includes:

Editorial advice

Localised editorial piece when needed

Distribution to the major print, broadcast and online publications along with industry-specific publications

Follow-up calls to secure interview request

Guaranteed distribution to Africa.com

Distribution to Bloomberg, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters

Social Media Reach: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram

Full online monitoring and print monitoring when available. Includesreadership stats and Advertising Value Equivalent

Translation in French, Arabic and Portuguese available