Twenty-nine percent of women in Bangladesh are less likely to own a mobile phone than men, with the country having the second highest gender gap in this respect among countries surveyed
Thirty-three percent of men in the country use mobile internet against 16 percent of women, according to the GSMA's 2020 Mobile Gender Gap Report released recently.
Eighty-six percent of men in Bangladesh own a mobile phone while 61 percent of women have one.
The country's gender gap in this respect is 29 percent, according to the GSMA report. The survey covered 15 low- and middle-income countries --- seven from Africa, five from Asia and three from Latin America.
In Asia, Bangladesh has the second largest gender gap after Pakistan (38 percent).
In the surveyed countries, 165 million fewer women have a mobile phone than their male counterparts do, states the GSMA report.
GSMA, often referred to as Global System for Mobile Communications, is an organization that represents the interests of mobile network operators across the globe.
India follows Bangladesh with a 50 percent male-female mobile internet use gap, closely followed by Pakistan (49 percent) and Uganda (48 percent).
The GSMA report also reveals that the gender gap in mobile internet use is the highest in Asia, with three South Asian countries being bracketed among the top five.
The report shows that the mobile internet gender gap has narrowed in the surveyed countries, with 54 percent of women currently using mobile internet against 44 percent in 2017.
Despite substantial progress, still 20 percent fewer women use mobile internet compared to men, meaning that over 300 million fewer women in these countries have internet access on a mobile device.
Over one billion women in those surveyed countries do not use mobile internet.
Bangladeshi women equally aware of mobile internet
Despite a big gender gap in owning a mobile set or mobile internet use, women have almost equal internet awareness as men in Bangladesh. In 2019, 73 percent of men were aware of using mobile internet against 71 percent of women.
The result is based on the respondents surveyed on whether they had either used mobile internet before or had not but were conscious that they could access the internet on a mobile phone.
The report considered how women's mobile access and use are changing and how efforts to reach women with technology should evolve alongside by presenting the updated figures on gender gaps in mobile ownership and mobile internet use in low- and middle-income nations.
Mats Granryd, director general of GSMA, said "We are seeing important progress in driving equal internet access for women, but the pace of progress still remains slow."
"Ensuring digital and financial inclusion for women is critically important as we know that when women thrive, societies, businesses and economies thrive," he added.