A Tough Call: Understanding Barriers to and Impacts of Women’s Mobile Phone Adoption in India

Categories : Mobile money & mobile technology, Technology and Operational Enablers



Today in India, 67% percent of men own mobile phones, but only 33% percent of women do. South Asian countries in general are clear outliers among countries of similar levels of development, with India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh exhibiting some of the world’s highest gender gaps in access to technology. While the mobile gender gap matters in its own right, it is particularly problematic because it can exacerbate other important forms of inequality — in earnings, networking opportunities, and access to information.

This report from Harvard Kennedy School uses a range of sources to identify leading barriers to Indian women’s use of mobile phones, assess the importance of these barriers, and propose directions for further research into how to reduce them.