Today, non-profit Girl Effect and Vodafone Foundation publish findings of the first comprehensive global study into how adolescent girls access and use mobile technology. The research reveals that boys are 1.5 times more likely to own a phone than girls as societal prejudice and other barriers disproportionately restrict girls’ access and usage of mobile.
[T]he research – a qualitative and quantitative study across 25 countries – found that girls’ access and use is dramatically restricted by negative social norms that prevent them from having the same freedoms as boys. More than two-thirds (67%) of boys surveyed reported owning a phone (compared to 44% of girls) and 28% borrowed – compared to more than half (52%) for girls.
In countries like India and Bangladesh, girls seen using phones often face negative judgement from community members, meaning parents are more likely to ban access to a device. Girls who break rules around phones are also more likely to be punished by scolding, beatings, being kept out of school or even early marriage.