SDG5: Gender Equality
Why it matters
SDG 5 focuses on achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls. However, the world is not on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. At the global level, none of the 18 indicators are on target.
The industry’s contribution
The mobile industry contributes to SDG 5 by increasing women’s access to and use of mobile technology, which helps to accelerate both social and economic development. The mobile industry is also focused on increasing women’s participation and leadership in the technology sector.
In 2022, 1.9 billion women in LMICs (equivalent to 81% of the female adult population across LMICs) owned a mobile phone, an increase of more than 340 million since 2017. In the same year, 1.4 billion women in LMICs used mobile internet, representing 61% of women in LMICs. The majority of female mobile owners in LMICs agree that owning a mobile device makes them feel safer, helps them in their day-to-day work and provides access to information they would not have otherwise.
However, the latest data shows that while more women are using mobile internet than ever before, their rate of adoption has slowed for the second year in a row, leaving the substantial gender gap in mobile internet relatively unchanged. There has also been a reduction in both total and female usage across a number of mobile-enabled services. This was most likely the result of face-to-face activities returning post pandemic and the impact of the cost-of-living crisis. These factors contributed to the slight decline in the SDG 5 mobile impact score in 2022.
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Rubina is the main breadwinner of the family and lives and works as a cleaner in Islamabad city, several hours away from her home town. She uses mobile money to send money home to her husband who is ill and who therefore often needs money at short notice to pay for medical expenses.
Tonema uses mobile internet to buy fabric and materials which she uses to create products for her clothing business. Alongside her work, she supports her family by cooking new recipes she’s learnt from watching YouTube.