BENGALURU: Have mobile phones empowered women digitally? One may want to believe so but the virtual world seems to be a reflection of the real world. Women in poor urban areas are 50% less likely than men to access the web on their phones, a recent survey by the Web Foundation has found.
Only 37% of poor urban women (vis-a-vis 59% of men) surveyed use internet on their mobile phones, says the study Women's Rights Online, Translating Access into Empowerment.
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The reason: lack of know-how and high costs. For, one gigabyte of data costs as much as 76% of monthly poverty line incomes in the nine developing countries including India, where the survey was conducted.
"Just the dramatic spread of mobile phones is not enough to get women online, or to achieve empowerment of women through technology," the study says. Once online, women are 30%-50% less likely than men to use the Internet to increase their income or participate in public life, the study adds. "Maintaining existing family and neighbourhood ties through social media is the main Internet activity for urban poor women, with 97% of male and female Internet users surveyed using social media."
Ingrid Brudvig, author of the study, says that there is a real risk of online social networks simply recreating the inequalities that poor women face in the real world, rather than helping them to open up new horizons.
Web Foundation CEO Anne Jellema says: "Most poor urban women are confined to an ICT ghetto that does little to help them break out of the real ghetto of poverty and discrimination."
Governments, she said, "need to make digital skills the right of every girl and boy as part of a wider commitment to quality education for all...and develop strategies that aim to increase women's civic, political and economic power through technology."
Rajani S S, who has been working with waster-pickers and other urban poor for over 10 years, says: "One must keep in mind the literacy rates. Just urban growth does not mean urban development."
Mumbai, Oct 24 (IANS) Following an all-round performance which helped them level the series 2-2 in Chennai, hosts India will be high on confidence and will aim to clinch the One-Day International (ODI) series when they clash with South Africa in the fifth and final match at the Wankhede Stadium here on Sunday.
Powered by a superb ton from Virat Kohli, India defeated the visitors by 35 runs in the fourth and penultimate ODI to square things up. The debate over who will fit in well in the No.3 batting slot was put to rest on Thursday after the much-needed century from Kohli, who scored a smashing 138. Coming into the decider, the hosts look a much balanced side both in batting and bowling.
Right from openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan to middle-order batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Suresh Raina, all have being among the runs in the ongoing series and will look to deliver on Sunday to earn another home series win. Medium pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohit Sharma bowled in tandem on a spin-friendly wicket in Chennai and were well supported by spinners Harbhajan Singh, Axar Patel and Amit Mishra, who made life difficult for the opposition batsmen by turning it and picking wickets at regular intervals.
On the other hand, South Africa felt the absence of all-rounder JP Duminy on Thursday, who was ruled out of the series due to a hand injury. The left-handed batsman was replaced by Dean Elgar.
The visitors also heavily depend on their skipper and star batsman AB de Villiers, who scored a sparkling 112 to nearly take the game away from India on Thursday before being caught.
However, the visitors have the depth in their batting as well as bowling to turn it in their favour in no time. Besides, de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Quinton de Kock, David Miller -- all are in good form. Hashim Amla, meanwhile, has not been up to his level, but come Sunday, the right-hander will look to sort out his batting.
The Proteas pace attack has not been at its very best on the Indian tracks, but experienced Dale Steyn and young Kagiso Rabada have still been effective. Rabada proved his potential to bowl in the death overs and will be the one to watch out for in the high-voltage clash. Leg-spinner Imran Tahir will lead the Proteas' spin attack alongside part-timer Farhaan Behardien.