Social Norms in the Gender Digital Divide: USAID Digital Strategy Update

Date published: Nov. 18, 2021

Thematic Area



Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 commits to achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. This includes enhancing the use of technology to further these goals. USAID’s Digital Strategy aims to continue its commitment to advancing women’s social and economic empowerment by closing the gender digital divide.

“I feel like I’ve been to Dubai.”

These are the words of a young, rural Kenyan girl with the power of the internet at her fingertips for the first time, unleashing a world of opportunity; however, this is not the norm. A recent national survey, conducted by the USAID Digital Frontiers project in Kenya, found that of those who never access the internet, 68 percent are female.

That seems like an enormous waste of opportunity and indicates the existence of a significant, untapped market. In many countries, the gender digital divide is as stark or worse than Kenya’s. So, why are women not online?

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