A study has found that women in Africa are tech-savvy in the use of mobile internet to empower and entertain themselves compared to men.
It was undertaken by Opera, a global software company and Worldreader, a digital reading non-profit entity, which was made available to the Ghana News Agency.
Opera ran a survey of 1,500 women and men aged 14 to 44 in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa in May 2017 to learn more about their web browsing habits on their mobile phones.
The poll results were later combined with Worldreader insights on the mobile reading habits of 50,000 Worldreader app users in the three countries above. The combined study revealed that women in these three African countries are as tech savvy as men when it comes to browsing the internet using their mobile phones. Women are using their browsers as often as men, with the majority of female survey respondents in Kenya and Nigeria (60 per cent) stating that they access their mobile browsers more than eight times a day to do various internet activities.
Moreover, women tend to purchase bigger data packages than men. Nearly half of female respondents in Kenya said that they spend over KSHS 1,000 (9.62 USD) to buy mobile data plan while only a third of the male respondents are doing so.
Similarly, in Nigeria, around 70 per cent of women who partook in the survey stated that they spend over NGN 1,000 (2.74 USD) to buy a mobile data plan in comparison to 60 per cent of men paying the same amount. Women also lead when it comes to buying big data packages with five times more women buying data 10GB data bundles in Kenya than men.
Both, Opera Software surveys and Worldreader usage data show that women in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa engage with the wider variety of content for entertainment and self-development available on the internet than men.
The statement said female respondents to the Opera survey on average showed a higher percentage of interest for nine out 15 topics. Similarly, Worldreader observes that women are on average accessing more e-books than men using their e-book reading platform. Not only that, Worldreader reports that their female users are reading three times as many pages on average as their male counterparts.
It said women in three African countries are predominately browsing the internet to relax and entertain themselves. By browsing lifestyle, music and entertainment content on Opera and by reading romance, thrillers and other fiction e-books on Worldreader (in some cases up to 10 times as many as men), women in Nigeria, Kenya, and South Africa are embracing the Internet as a tool for entertainment.
According to Opera, women are more engaged than men with content that can improve their lives, including content related to education, economy, property rights, public services, and health.
It said in all three countries a higher percentage of women than emphasised the need for having access to news via their mobile browser.
Similarly, Worldreader reports that women between 26 and 44 years of age are particularly interested in reading e-books from the Inspiration, Career Development and Children’s sections of the Worldreader library.