More Than 75% Facebook Users in India Are Men
India’s skewed sex ratio looks even worse on the internet.
Though more Indians are increasingly coming online, they are pre-dominantly male. Of the 153 million Facebook users in India, only about 24 percent are women, according to UK consultancy We Are Social.
In comparison, Indonesia's sex ratio on Facebook stands at 41 percent, Japan's at 48, Australia's at 53, and Hong Kong's at 54. India’s neighboring countries Pakistan and Bangladesh also disappoint with 22 percent, and 23 percent figures respectively.
"This iniquity of access between men and women may explain part of the reason why digital connectivity levels are so low across South Asia, but there's no obvious reason for the imbalance; Facebook reports its user figures based on active user accounts, not devices used, so their data is unlikely to be skewed by issues such as shared computers or mobile handsets,” the report said.
The skewed sex ratio is already a concern in India. As of 2011, India’s sex-ratio was 940 females per 1000 males. Things have started to improve in the recent times with literacy rate going up and general awareness, but the disproportion of gender on the internet elicits the age old debate.
The barrier in access could be a significant factor. As many as 81 percent women reported to have never used the internet on their mobile phones last year. The bigger issue at stake here, though, is how many women actually have a mobile phone and hence, access to the internet.
Cultural norms, especially in rural India, continue to treat females unfairly.
Cultural norms, especially in rural India, continue to treat females unfairly. Earlier this year, several villages in western Indian state of Gujarat banned girls and single women from owning mobile phones. The local authority noted that these gadgets distracted girls from studies.
Last year, a Muslim village council in India's largest state Uttar Pradesh issued an advisory, barring girls from using cell phones and wearing jeans.
Unsurprisingly so, the iniquity in gender gap is in no way limited to Facebook. A July report from The Boston Consulting Group shows that internet users in rural India, for instance, are mostly men too. As many as 98 percent of internet users in rural India, and about 79 percent of users in cities are men.