News

| 14 September 2022

PSDI supports Pacific digital gender gap study

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The Pacific Private Sector Development Initiative (PSDI) has supported technology sector coalition the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) to audit the digital gender gap in the Pacific, and the ways in which Pacific women are prevented from obtaining meaningful internet connectivity. 

The Pacific Digital Gender Scorecards audit includes a regional synthesis report and digital “scorecards” for Papua New Guinea (PNG), Samoa, and Tonga. 

The scorecards measured the state of women’s digital inclusion and empowerment across five key themes—internet access and women’s empowerment, affordability, digital skills and education, relevant content and services for women, and online safety.  

PNG scored the lowest of the three countries across all five themes, with an overall score of 47%. Samoa and Tonga performed better across the key areas, with overall scores of 71% and 71.6% respectively. 

Scorecards

Based on available data, the gender gap in internet access sits at 8% in Tonga, 20% in Samoa, and 23% in PNG. 

A4AI is an initiative hosted by the World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF). PSDI funded A4AI’s research and provided expert insights and feedback via its Economic Empowerment of Women team, led by Sarah Boxall. 

“The Pacific digital gender gap has significant implications for women’s ability to benefit from developments in digital technology—including for information sharing, services such as universal education and healthcare, and business growth,” Ms Boxall said. “Without reliable sex-disaggregated data, such as that published by WWWF, it will not be possible to develop policy and programmatic responses to tackle this issue.” 

PSDI is an Asian Development Bank (ADB) technical assistance program in partnership with the governments of Australia and New Zealand. It supports ADB’s 14 Pacific developing member countries to improve the enabling environment for business and to achieve inclusive, private sector-led economic growth, including through reforms designed to enhance the economic empowerment of women.