Watch: RIA’s Araba Sey on Causes of the Digital Gender Gap in Africa

Watch the video above for Araba Sey’s input on the digital gender gap in Africa.

RIA’s Principal Researcher Araba Sey participated in a panel discussion hosted by the United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) examining the causes of the digital gender gap in Low-to-medium-income countries.

Sey talked about two studies in Rwanda and Ghana that she was involved in.

She argued that Rwanda has a surprisingly wide internet gender gap given that the country has progressive gender equality policies and some of the best network coverage and lowest data costs in Africa. Sey reported that the main finding of a co-authored RIA study on urban and rural internet use between genders Rwanda, was a strong link between low female labour force participation, access to disposable income, perceptions of women’s need for the internet and women’s actual access to and use of the internet. 

The Ghana study examined the experience of schools girls’ access to and use of communication technologies at school and at home as well as their aspirations towards ICT careers. According to Sey, the results of this study indicate a low enthusiasm for ICT careers. However, this was not entirely limited to gender barriers. Other hurdles included limited ICT infrastructure, facilities and learning tools, as well as the way that ICT was taught at schools.

Sey is an expert on gender issues. In recognition of historically exclusionary data sets in Africa, she has included a crosscutting gender component to RIA’s AI4D project.