World Pulse presents recommendations from women worldwide on how to bridge ‘digital gender divide’

World Pulse publishes powerful data that individuals, businesses, and institutions can use to improve digital inclusion for women

Portland, Ore. (17 November, 2015)

World Pulse, a global digital network, has just released a set of recommendations to help transform the technology industry and ensure that women worldwide have equal access to digital tools, digital literacy, and the empowerment that can come from being globally connected online.

Today, two hundred million more men than women have access to the Internet. In mid- to low-income countries this statistic soars to a 25-40% access gap between genders. A host of cultural, economic, social, and infrastructural barriers keep women from accessing the empowerment potential of logging online.

However, “with ingenuity and resourcefulness, women worldwide are creating new strategies to bring more women online and empower one another,” says Jensine Larsen, World Pulse Founder and CEO. “World leaders and technology firms should be paying attention to their solutions—and backing them up.”

These solutions are laid out in the newly released Women Weave the Web Recommendations Report. Distilled from crowdsourcing hundreds of womens’ voices from more than 70 countries, the report provides actionable steps that any individual or organization can take globally to better serve women and communities around the world.

“The Women Weave the Web Report surfaces invaluable on-the-ground discoveries that tech companies, policy makers, government officials and others can tap into immediately,” says Larsen. “This is crucial in today’s globalized world, because as we accelerate the digital inclusion of women, we create social and economic gain for all.”

Among the recommendations are:

  1. Create safe online spaces for women to communicate free of cultural norms and constraints.
  2. Improve web security protocols and highlight Internet safety education for women.
  3. Establish women-only hours, areas, or telecenters for using the Internet in public places.
  4. Reach the “last mile” of women in poverty and isolation by maximizing mobile technologies, alternative power sources, and resources in native languages.

The Women Weave the Web Report focuses on three key areas:

  1. Digital access—what the challenges are that women have in accessing the Internet in addition to the solutions women and their communities are developing in order to overcome the infrastructural and cultural barriers needed to achieve greater connection.
  2. Digital literacy—what the challenges are that women face while learning to use the Internet—such as violence, bullying and online harassment—and what tools and services women wish to have to feel more comfortable online.
  3. Digital empowerment (World Pulse’s niche)—once women know how to use digital tools, how they use the Internet to empower themselves to achieve their goals, and how online empowerment contributes to offline empowerment.

The World Pulse network is influencing individuals and decision-makers worldwide

World Pulse has already delivered several recommendations from its findings to influential forums and decision-makers, including Twitter and the Internet Governance Forum. Key World Pulse partners, such as Global Fund for Women who collaborate with World Pulse to empower women worldwide, are also endorsing the recommendations. “Global Fund for Women recognizes the power and potential of technology to amplify women's voices, enable networking and increase impact,” says Musimbi Kanyoro, Global Fund’s President and CEO, “and that is why I support the recommendations made through World Pulse research.” Specific Women Weave the Web partners are also receiving the report—along with particular findings for their key areas—and distributing these recommendations out via their networks:

  • A4AI receives recommendations on internet affordability;
  • UN Women receives recommendations that connect digital technology to economic empowerment and education;
  • AccessNow.org and APC (Association for Progressive Communications) receive recommendations regarding internet rights;
  • Telecentre.org receives recommendations that speak directly to telecenter technology;
  • BSR receives technology company-specific recommendations;
  • APC receives recommendations that address the role of violence against women in bridging the gender digital divide;
  • Beyond Access, IFLA, READ Global and EIFL receive recommendations about libraries.

Read the Women Weave the Web Report here.

About World Pulse

World Pulse is a powerful online community of women and allies worldwide who speak out and build solutions to today’s biggest challenges. Women leading change on the ground are empowered through the web-based platform to mobilize around the world and create real social transformation. Today, tens of thousands of women from 190 nations are using WorldPulse.com to start movements and pressure global leaders to take a stand on the issues affecting their lives. The World Pulse mission is to accelerate the global changes women seek by using digital communication to unite and amplify women's voices, solutions and impact worldwide.

Media Contacts:

Chelsea Maricle, World Pulse, 503-331-3900, media@worldpulse.com

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